Last week, I had a delightful evening with friends checking out INDIE WINE & BEER BAR at the new location of the San Francisco Wine Center, which moved from their Bryant Street address last year to this spot near Levi’s Plaza. There’s a spacious, warm, and protected outdoor space (they call it Indie Station) with room for 60—they take table reservations, and it would be perfect for a gathering or event. There’s also interior seating at a long banquette, tables, and some lounge seating.
The extensive menu goes far beyond the usual cheese and charcuterie offering. Chef Carina Lampkin was previously at Bar Crudo, and you’ll note her seafood skills with the two raw oyster presentations ($24 for six), there’s a local halibut crudo ($15), and day boat scallops tucked in the stunning sunchoke soup ($13), with fennel and Tokyo turnips.
The beet, bacon, and blue cheese salad ($13) was our group’s favorite—it’s one of the best beet salads I’ve ever had, actually, with golden and Chioggia beets, red wine vinaigrette, and the kicker: whipped horseradish crème fraîche. Don’t miss it. Your table can choose from a couple flatbreads to share, and heartier appetites will find almond-crusted halibut ($25) and New Zealand lamb ribs ($28), with a tasty side of smoked yucca root. You even get three desserts to choose from—the classic French crème brûlée was what won the affection of our dessert spoons.
The wine list is full of treasures available by the glass that you rarely see (2015 Hanzell Vineyards chardonnay, or how about 2009 Marchesi di Barolo?). You can keep things affordable or totally splash out, there are so many options! Get a few pals and taste your way through this exciting list. Owner Brian McGonigle is excited to be able to open and share these wines with his guests. Oh, and wine classes will start up again soon. Open Thu-Sat 3pm-8pm. 175 Green St. at Sansome.
Mark your calendar for WINeFare, the first international wine tasting event focused on the women in the natural wine movement, founded by Pamela Busch of The Vinguard. This year, it’s a three-day virtual event from May 21st-23rd. Over 100 women and women-owned businesses from a dozen countries, 13 states, and the District of Columbia are participating. Bottles Without Borders will have 16 panel discussions ranging from Quevri This: The Women Taking Over Georgia’s Natural Wine Movement to New Voices in California Wine.
WINeFare is also partnering with 40 women-owned natural wine shops throughout the United States and in other countries so that attendees can find wines from the winemakers participating. Tickets are available on a sliding scale basis ($20-$50).