It wasn’t a Friday night but we were happy to venture out to dinner on a random Thursday night when our sitter was free. I have been reading about St. Vincent here and there and it’s on my short list.
Location: great location, near Yoga Tree on Valencia. Parking isn’t terrible and you’re right in the heart of the Mission.
Atmosphere: décor is lagging a little. Not as fresh as others but they do well by covering up a large swath of wall with a heavy curtain. A wood bar backlit by bottles, and the whole layout recalls the Abbot’s Cellar a few blocks down. There’s a strange square of plastic on the ceiling that is over the kitchen area, specifically over the stove, and we were told it was regulation to put something up there to cover the beautiful wood ceiling. We thought it was a bit distracting, but you don’t spend the meal looking at the ceiling now do you? Not too noisy, but you will probably listen in on the conversation at the table next to you (yes, they’re that close together).
Service: our server was very knowledgeable, explaining the menu in detail and very attentive even with the business of the night. I believe the host was the owner, David Lynch, a sommelier, writer and now restaurateur. He was friendly and accommodating, seating us almost immediately. I appreciated that he was greeting and seating people, and not stuffed up in some office or not there at all.
Menu: Before the meal we had a preconceived idea the menu was Bavarian, which it was a little, but really it’s more Southern US. We started with the cheese crackers and forgot to order the pickled eggs – cursing ourselves but wary of over ordering as we usually do. My husband had the Vinegar Braised Pork which was out of this world. I had the Swordfish with smoked fingerling and Meyer lemon.
They have a large wine list, and we both settled in with a glass of Barbera. St. Vincent’s has a wonderful offering of opening any of their 100 wines under $100 and offering it as a half bottle.
St. Vincent Tavern and Wine Merchant – 1270 Valencia Street, SF, CA