Why did we dine here? – Located almost under the Central Freeway, Chez Spencer was on Check Please, long-ago, and looked fairly promising. Being French food fans, we have no choice but to give it a whirl.
Insider Tip – Asked to be seated in the patio area. They have a multicourse tasting menu that does not require entire table.
Cuisine – French
Location – Soma
Service – Service was adequate but not overly great. Even though the place was not full, our server rarely came around and spoke just a few words.
Verdict – Chez Spencer serves up solid French food in a romantic, cozy warehouse. While we can recommend this restaurant, we feel that Chapeau serves up better French food with friendlier service, and at lower price. We can make this direct comparison because we ate at Chapeau, the week before.
Signature Dishes – Foie gras, Sturgeon, venison.
Lobster bisque ($14) truffle cream fraiche is their signature soup, that is also sold by their food truck, Spencer to Go. The soup features a subdued lobster flavor and is not very creamy.
Sautéed veal sweetbreads ($18) watercress, Parmesan crisp, and truffle vinaigrette was very good and came with a large quantity of tender, smooth texture, sweetbreads. The sauce was a bit on the sour side though.
Foie gras au Torchon ($19) vanilla scented BlackBerry, pain de Campagne included a thick generous slab of foie and some nice toasted bread.
Wood roasted Sturgeon ($32) Nameko and honjimegi pommes crisp and sauce Bearnaise is a signature dish consisting of a meaty fish was cooked just right. The chip on top seems like a weird touch. We haven’t had this fish in a while, so it was nice to be reintroduced in such a high quality format.
Wood Seared Venison Tenderloin jabron potato, juniper berry peppercorn jus ($30) was another waiter recommended dish that proved to be very good. Ample quantity of tender venison that was slightly gamy, and chewy. This reminds us of an excellent version we had up at North Lake Tahoe.
Wood Grilled Filet Mignon morels a la creme, shaved truffles & truffle butter ($32) is a mainstream dish that many people order. Tender, juicy, and excellent dish. The mushrooms were fresh and tasty.
OK: (Order if you like this dish)
Lemon Panna Cotta spiced syrup & orange segments ($9) included a fairly tasteless custard but a nice spiced soup.
Warm Chocolate Pudding Cake flowers of the alps tea cream anglaise ($9) was technically competent, but just far too sweet. This forced us to order some coffee.
Pans: (We would not reorder these dishes)