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Spruce Hits The Slopes With A Second Restaurant in Park City, Utah

Looking for Spruce chef Mark Sullivan? You better check Utah. Sullivan and his family have decamped to Park City for the summer while he works on opening—wait for it—Spruce Park City! Yes, it’s officially a trend—San Francisco chefs are taking their restaurants to the slopes. First, news of Traci des Jardins Tahoe project, Manzanita, hit the wires. Now, we have the news that come July, when the Dakota Mountain Lodge opens to the public, Spruce will be the headlining dining option. 

I caught up with Sullivan this weekend at the CUESA burger cook-off, where he was one of four chefs vying for the championship (he won). In town for a brief 16 hours, the good sport spent three of them flipping burgers. He described the Park City project as crazy, over the top and huge—indeed, the restaurant is 5,000 square feet with 140 seats, and will be serving breakfast, lunch, dinner and room service. Will Spruce’s food translate to the high altitude? Only time will tell—Sullivan, along with chef de cuisine Saundra Middleton, has been busy finding a network of ranchers and growers in Utah, since they won't have the luxury of farm-fresh ingredients from SMIP Ranch (the farm that supplies both Village Pub and Spruce in SF). And while the Spruce here is known for its wine list, some 1,400 bottles deep, the list at the Utah location won't be nearly as sizeable, owing to Utah's many and inconvenient liquor laws. Sullivan will be out in Utah until late August, then returning to SF in late August, just in time for another big opening. The Bacchus Group's long-awaited brasserie, Cafe Des Amis (2000 Union St. at Buchanan), is on track to open in November—provided the chef doesn't choose to have another dalliance with some other city before then.