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Reply to "San Francisco Dining Impressions"

I dined at Chez Spencer last night. Chez Spencer opened two weeks ago in the original location of Citizen Cake on 14th at Folsom. Laurent Katgely, late of Foreign Cinema and Alfy's, is the chef/owner.

The building was originally an auto repair shop. Despite its humble origins, I really like the space. 30 foot high ceilings. Modern yet surprisingly comfortable furniture. The restaurant concept takes open air kitchens to the extreme with a large pizza oven placed literally in the middle of the space. As a result, diners are interspersed with the kitchen throughout the space.

Prices range from between 10 to 16 for appetizers and 19 to 27 for entrees. The restaurant has no liquor license so at present it is byob with no corkage being charged. Seared foie gras with an apricot tart was an excellent well balanced starter. Lobster with avocado was bland and skimpy. I loved the classic french salad of greens, poached eggs, and lardon. White asparagus with black truffles needed more black truffles.

Entrees consisted of a very generous portion of rack of lamb coupled with potato pave and wild greens. A great dish indeed. Wood oven roasted squab with morels came to the table over sauced and the morels were reconstituted dried morels - a no no in my book consiodering the cost ($27) of the entree. Wild mushroom risotto was nothing special. Filet mignon came out undersauced, under seasoned, and on lentils. The combination did not work well.

Overall, I enjoyed the restaurant although it did not blow me away. I plan on returning but am in no rush to do so. 85 points.

[ 06-19-2002, 02:27 PM: Message edited by: JonesWineNo1 ]
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