|South Food + Wine Bar|
|South Food + Wine Bar|
|Written by Tara Duggan|
|Thursday, 02 October 2008 00:00|
Though it was created by an Australian, South Food + Wine Bar is the type of venue that has become extremely popular here in the Bay Area. Part restaurant, part lounge, it's the kind of place you can stop in for a casual weeknight meal with a friend. Yet the combination of good food and wine, stylish design and attentive service also brings in the occasional work group or celebratory dinner.
Most people in the Bay Area will be unfamiliar with the chef, but Luke Mangan is a star at his restaurants in Sydney and Tokyo. He was joined by a compatriot as well as a New Zealander to create the Australian-leaning menu as well as a wine list of exclusively Kiwi and Aussie producers.
The vibe: Red-and white-tiles pretty up the bar, while overhead bentwood light fixtures against the dark ceiling create a modern, dramatic look.
The crowd: We overheard bona fide Australian accents from women at the bar, who were being chatted up by men perched on the communal table that runs parallel to it. Otherwise you will probably see lots of younger couples, as well as small groups of friends catching up over a glass of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.
Best seat: The corner of the bar has two seats at normal table height, which makes dining easier. Yet even the regular dining tables in this intimate 60-seat space are close to the action.
Killer app: The Bushman's Plate is a no-brainer, with six bites ($14 to serve two diners, $26 to serve four). The highlights were salt-and-pepper squid and grilled glazed pork belly. There are several raw fish starters, such as hiramasa kingfish sashimi ($16). The fish and chips ($19) come with a spicy wasabi mayo and thick steak fries stacked like 4-by-4s.
The list: With about 20 wines available by the glass, it's easy to conduct a tasting tour of the Australian and New Zealand
wine regions. Bottles are organized by style - for example, "silky" and "gutsy" - rather than varietal. If you really want to go native, try the 2004 Paringa South Australia Sparkling Shiraz ($9).
Also on tap: Coopers Pale Ale by the bottle helps expand your Australian beer knowledge beyond Foster's Lager.
Bonus: The restaurant has two wine clubs, plus all the wines on the list are available on the Web site.
Vitals: 330 Townsend St., No. 101 (at Fourth St.), San Francisco. (415) 974-5599. southfwb.com. 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. weekdays, 5:30-11 p.m. Mon.
This article appeared on page G - 11 of the San Francisco Chronicle
The page you tried to access does not exist on this server. This page may not exist due to the following reasons: