St. Vincent Tavern and Wine Merchant is a fairly new restaurant in San Francisco’s Mission District. A wine-centric restaurant, chef Bill Niles crafts a Californian menu with influences from all over the world to complement artisanal wines and craft beers curated by owner/sommelier David Lynch who btw, really gets customer service. St. Vincent of Saragossa was a 3rd-century Spanish deacon who is known as the patron saint of wine and vinegar makers. His feast day, January 22, is celebrated with particular enthusiasm in the villages of Burgundy, France, at an annual get-together known as St-Vincent Tournante. The team named their restaurant St. Vincent apparently because it sounded cool and it highlighted their deep appreciation of wine in a unique way.
Below is a Steak Tartare appetizer dish, served with green garlic vichyssoise and asparagus. Yum! My favorite.
We also ordered a couple of salads: the curly kale, with boquerones bread crumbs and smoked clementine and a basic little gems salad with wild pecans, blackberries, topped with sheep’s cheese.
The little gems salad:
You can also order a hand rolled pretzel with mustard and butter (yes really) and a pickled egg to start. (served with beet & horseradish or curry). We opted for the former.
Below is one of the entrees – a Ham Chop, served with Brooks Cherries, Braised Collards and Spoonbread. Notice the enormous portion size! Note, we were happy campers to say the least.
Our second choice was something a little lighter – the Halibut, which they served with smoked potato, summer squash and basil tips:
Owner David Lynch is also an author and a sommerlier. St. Vincent is his first venture, and while the restaurant and shop will feature great wines from all over the world, Italy remains his first love. He has an award-winning book, Vino Italiano, which came out in 2002, and it’s a frequented choice for Italian wine aficionados. David is also a Contributing Wine Editor at Bon Appétit, where his “Wine Insider” column appears regularly. He tooks care of us on a holiday weekend and it was last minute so THANKS to David & team for making us feel so welcome. The service was also top notch!
Note: this was my fourth or fifth time to the restaurant although previous times I had only ordered appetizers and wine and sat at the bar. This was my first meal soup-to-nuts, as they say.
St. Vincent is located on 1270 Valencia Street between 23rd and 24th Streets.
For other great restaurants in California, check out our California restaurants section. (Top California restaurants). For more posts on San Francisco restaurants, check out our San Francisco Food & Wine Section. (top San Francisco restaurants). All photo credits: Renee Blodgett.