Eiffel Towers

Chez Spencer

The same can be said of the chocolate marquise, one of pastry chef Lisa Savell's best desserts. Here a soft coconut torte showcases the feathery chocolate that runs through its center like an unexpected vein of delicious gold. Strewn about the cake are blackberries that taste as if they'd been picked on Mount Tamalpais that morning. In another memorable concoction, a croustade(edible bowl) supports an origami of succulent, sun-sweet peaches; its crust is so much like caramelized brittle that you won't care if it takes a butcher knife to cut through. Two scoops of cinnamon-infused ice cream are the dish's final accent. You can also get ice cream rich with the taste of honey and served in a goblet with half a dozen ruby-red strawberries. A more complex dessert, the orange fromage blanc panna cotta, is good but somewhat disappointing alongside the other sweet things. As its name indicates, it's more cheesecake than panna cotta, and a bit on the heavy side, with a handful of roasted cherries providing extra baggage. But the black and tan pot de crème is a delight: one layer of caramellike butterscotch, another of delicate milk chocolate, both of them sleek in consistency and smooth in flavor, with a lid of dense brownie providing contrast and a scoop of whipped cream uniting the whole.

Underground Gallic: Chez Spencer's industrial chic is 
one of the few California traits in an otherwise 
Francophile dream.
Anthony Pidgeon
Underground Gallic: Chez Spencer's industrial chic is one of the few California traits in an otherwise Francophile dream.

Location Info


Chez Spencer

82 14th St.
San Francisco, CA 94103

Category: Restaurant > French

Region: South of Market


Duck breast salad $9

Foie gras with blueberries $16

Butterfish with figs $23

Squab with morels $27

Rack of lamb $26

Chocolate marquise $7

Peach croustade $7


Dinner served Tuesday through Saturday from 5:30 to 10 p.m., Sunday brunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Reservations accepted

Wheelchair accessible

Parking: ample

Muni: 12

Noise level: gregarious yet manageable

82 14th St. (at Folsom)

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At present Chez Spencer lacks a liquor license, but it lacks a corkage fee as well, so you're welcome -- expected, even -- to bring along a few bottles to complement your meal. We carted in a Ravenswood zin, a Jenner cab, and a Barton & Guestier merlot plus random bottles of Pyramid hefeweizen, Full Sail amber ale, and Eye of the Hawk select, so we were prepared for any eventuality. The only problem was when our enthusiastic sipping and dunking soiled the snow-white tablecloth beyond the capabilities of the crumb comb. Our waiter arrived with two clean napkins, covered the offending areas to spare us further shame, refilled our glasses, and offered to open another bottle or two. It's that kind of place.

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