Now open in Jackson Square is VERJUS from Michael and Lindsay Tusk of Quince and Cotogna, and new managing partner Matt Cirne. It’s a French-inspired cave à manger (which means “eat in a cellar”), which includes a wine bar, wine shop, and conserva bar, with vintage housewares and more that you can purchase in a retail shop.
It’s the most casual of their ventures to date: no reservations, and you even order at a counter. It should feel like a pintxos bar of San Sebastián, or a cicchetteria in Venice, where you can drop in for a bite and glass or two, and maybe grab a bottle to bring home. The wine selection will highlight small-scale, independent, organic wines, natural wines, and wines with a strong sense of terroir, along with Champagne, wines from overlooked terroirs, and more.
The all-day (and daily changing) menu from chef Michael Tusk and chef de cuisine David Meyer (The French Laundry, The Progress, and In Situ) will lean on French charcuterie such as pâtés en croûte, rillettes, and terrines, along with boudin blanc or noir, duck confit, Dungeness carb tartine, and a daily omelette with seasonal produce from Fresh Run Farm in Bolinas. The selection of tinned fish and shellfish in the conserva bar will be available to eat with bread, lemon, olive oil, salsa verde, and pimentón.
The historic space dates back to the 1850s, when it was the Eclipse Champagne Building, and Verjus occupies two formerly separate and now connected spaces at 528 and 550 Washington Street, flanking Hotaling Place Alley. The stylish design is inspired by France in the 1950s-1960s, with mid-century modern Luigi Caccia Dominioni and Gino Sarfatti light fixtures, and Pierre Chapo vintage tables and chairs, all under a lacquered burgundy ceiling, and the music is a soundtrack of yé-yé pop, jazz, and more.
The bar à vin is open Mon-Thu 4:30pm-10pm, Fri-Sat 4:30pm-late (12am), while the shop (la cave) is open Mon-Thu 11:30am-7:30pm, and Fri-Sat 11am-7:30pm. Lunch is coming soon. 528 Washington St. at Hotaling.
The stylish bar à vin at Verjus. Photo courtesy of Verjus.