Paul Einbund is the wine director of the Slanted Door restaurant group including Out the Door Bush Street and Westfield Centre as well as Heaven's Dog. He also runs the beverage program at Frances, and has worked at Coi and more. Look for him here every Tuesday. Follow him on Twitter @pauleinbund.
Dcantr wine bar at Saison is a great innovation that is fun, smart and not at all contrived in my opinion. Mark Bright, sommelier/partner at Saison and the new Dcantr wine bar, has created a section of his wine list called ‘the Blending Bar’. For $15 you get 150mL (5 ounces) and three different Pinot Noirs to customize your own glass of wine. The section features 3 different single vineyard bottlings of Pinot, all from the Sonoma Coast. Tasting notes under each listing give you a basic idea of how each wine tastes by itself. From there, it’s up to you to decide how you want your glass to add up.
I went for a simple (and it turned out, the best of the night) 1/3 of each. My companions all tried to get fancy, listing off 40mL of this vineyard and 90mL of that one until they added up to 150mL. One of my friends went the percentage route – the server wasn’t phased by any method we chose. The base wines are all of good quality, and because of the unique factor, I think this is your best bet at Dcantr. The rest of the wine list includes a couple of sparkling wines, 4 moderately-priced white wines, 6 moderately-priced reds, and 4 sweet wines.
There is a nice selection of beers including the Gageleer Sweet Gale Ale ($6), Oud Beersel Oude Geuze ($24 for 750mL), and the Ichtegem’s Flemish Red ($6). The small, minimalist food menu is fairly priced considering you are talking about the Saison kitchen doing the cooking. Star Route Farms lettuces will cost you $8, as does the sudachi lime pie with banana and milk meringue for dessert. We snacked on a bowl of manila clams in a mild but tasty broth for $15 and an incredibly silky chicken liver mousseline with quince butter and toast for $12. There is talk of some more exciting menu items; sea urchin toast with smoked seaweed butter and fried sand dabs with ember-roasted Orion fennel. I look forward to a few more items to round out the current menu.
Located at 2128 Folsom St. at 17th, most of all Dcantr is a great addition to this up and coming neighborhood. Locals can drop by for a unique experience and a snack before dinner.