Well it's about time we got ourselves a serious little winebar in San Francisco. You can hop-scotch from one winebar to another in New York, while here we are at the doorstep of California's prolific wine industry, and there is a conspicuous dearth of serious players. Perhaps our geographic disposition--being so far from our European inspiration on this matter--relegates us to a second tier city.
Apparently no one told that to the proprietors of CAV. This little gem next door to Zuni Cafe show-cases our city's finest resource: bravado. Tad and Pamela seemingly understand simple, rustic cuisine and moreover, they embrace the delicate dance that happens when you introduce food-appropriate wines.
I was completely turned-on by a plate of house-made charcuterie and a glass of vibrant Alicante Bouschet from Emilia-Romagna. The dish was screaming for Alsatian Riesling, and I was taken aback when the self-assured bar tender recommended this esoteric red from central italy. But he was dead on. The marriage was apropos and I was delighted.
Cool, post-modern looking space, humble competent people, comforting food, and a serious wine program.
Kudos to the new kids on the block!