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Spread in SD---Report

Zax | Aug 12, 200501:25 PM

Ate at Spread last night in North Park. Wonderful experience. I'm not vegetarian, but the restaurant is, so I was a bit sceptical. I am now a convert (not to vegetarianism, but to veggie possibilities).

It's a storefornt spot, sort of minimalist-IKEA-gallery space decor. Husband and wife run the show--he in front, she in back. They served only three appetizers, four entrees, and one dessert, but these are constantly rotating, based on availabilty of fresh, organic produce. According to the owner, everything on our plates was picked out of the ground that day. And what insane things ended up on our plates! Edible flowers, roots, leafy things with poetic Karmic names. Each plate was a work of art; I felt like the chef was sidelining as a landscape designer.

We shared an heirloom tomato-loaded bruschetta plate to start. Gorgeous tomatoes and shavings of Buddha's Hand on massive grilled slice of country bread. My wife had a fig and grits bowl, piled high with greens and loaded with tiny squishy squash, fingerling potatoes and other goodies. Sounds odd, but tasted great. I had the mushroom ragout: creamy, spinach-laced, mounds of mushrooms. Really nice. For dessert, we had fruit drenched in chocolate and topped with beet sugar. It was okay, not stellar, but I was fully satisfied by this point anyway.

What I loved about this place was the vibe -- I've really not been to a restaurant with this sort of energy--mellow, hip, but committed to a particular vision of food, one which I wholly endorse--sort of Slow Food, California-style.

If anyone else has been, I'd like to hear their comments.


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