As baseball season approaches we’re all aware of the myriad places around the ballpark to drink Vodka drinks (e.g. Paragon), stand and chatter in claustrophobic throngs (Momo’s), etc. But just a block down from where you can guzzle margaritas (Tres Agaves), there is now a place to sip Sauvignon Blanc, munch on risotto balls and rhapsodize about Pinot Noir. The name of the place is District and it brings a touch of sophistication to a neighborhood that needed it.
But District would have been successful in any neighborhood. At the center of the room is a beautiful rounded bar that was hand-made in Brazil and shipped in. It’s flanked by high tables on one side and plush couches on the other with a communal, stand-around table in the front. The high ceilings belong to the hundred-year-old red brick building that gives the space tremendous depth and a sense of its industrial past.
What’s most important, though, is the libations, and the list is constructed by the irrepressible Caterina Mirabelli, who arrived from Los Angeles with a sterling resume from some of the best restaurants there. Perhaps diminutive in stature, she towers over most people with her heart, enthusiasm, and ambition. Caterina’s fashioned a list with wine flights that are truly provocative and wine selections that range from around the world (Sauvignon Blanc from South Africa, Pinot Noir from Slovenia and more than a few picks from her native Italy). She’s backed by a great menu from Jen Solomon (that will be expanding in the next few weeks). And the three owners are these tall good-looking guys who could have stepped straight out of the cast of Melrose Place. Their eternal presence gives the place its guy-ish vibe and makes you believe them when they say that they’ll definitely broadcast the Giants games on District’s flat screen. This makes me happy, as I’ve long craved a Sports Wine bar, where, instead of beer and wings, I could drink a glass of Negro Amaro and nibble olives while rooting the Giants to the NL championship.
216 Townsend Street (corner of Ritch)