It’s time to say goodbye to the same old charcuterie and cheese plates at wine bars. Really, is that the only thing we can eat while drinking wine? Uh, no. Here are four places that have food menus that are just as appealing and varied as their wine lists. Have at it. And come hungry.
This Mission hideaway is always pouring something special (wines from Croatia and Jura, let’s go) and their menu, while petite, has plenty to entice you to stay for dinner. The oysters and deviled eggs are classics here, and there’s usually a good crudo to go with your white wine or bubbles. The seasons dictate the rest of the menu, from soups to salads, and this place has a way with clams, and there’s usually a meaty main you can share with your wine buddy. With food served until 11pm, it’s an easy place to swing by for an impromptu bite and a glass of something-something. 3565 20th Street (at Mission), 415-624-3140
A casual enoteca from the La Ciccia team, where do I sign? After having the staff guide you to a beguiling Champagne, or perhaps an earthy Italian red is what you’re after, you will quickly have an appetito for one of their many small plates, like burrata with grilled radicchio and their rustic bean soup made with prosciutto. The eight different pizzas, lasagna from a family recipe, and semolina gnocchi with a flurry of pecorino will have you waddling out the door. And we didn’t even talk about the 12 different hams and prosciutto they have on offer. 1781 Church (at Day), 415-874-9924
An all-day (and night) wine bar and café, this SoMa place is here for you. Their daytime menu has all kinds of goodies (bonjour, croque monsieur), but when wine o’clock rolls around, you’re going to have to make some hard decisions. Chef Shawn Gawle’s foie gras torchon and terrine of boudin noir, bone marrow, and frisée aux lardons are all on point. But wait, did he really put gnocchi in lobster bisque? He sure did. And be sure to check out his broiled oysters with seaweed butter. All seeved until 11pm (midnight on weekends). And you haven’t even cracked the insane wine list by Mark Bright yet, starting with 40 by-the-glass options. 234 Townsend (at 3rd Street), 415-795-1422
This stylish wine bar (from the folks behind Little Vine) is blowing up Russian Hill, and their game is tight. Not only are the wines well chosen and food friendly (Revolution chenin blanc and Copain syrah rosé, we are looking at you), but then you get to power up with an array of oysters on the half shell, their sick uni pâté, and their house-marinated boquerones. Pork Reuben, oh yeah. Want to get your cheese on? Check out their Red Hawk BLT, fondue, or raclette. And even their housemade salumi and choice cheese platter selections are notable. The only hard part is finding a spot to sit. And you may want to keep an eye on the wines you’re ordering by the glass; there are some that will take all your money. Whatever, you’re feeling good. 1945 Hyde (at Union), 415-272-7567