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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Wine Kitchen Proves Western Addition's Growing Clout

Posted By on Wed, Jan 16, 2013 at 11:15 AM

  • Pete Kane

And you thought Bi-Rite 2.0 was the only major development on Divis these days.

Newly open between Fell and Hayes, the warm, capacious and unpretentiously named Wine Kitchen may not rival the gourmet market opening across the street as an anchor tenant of a neighborhood in transition, but it's set to become a local jewel just the same. (No disrespect, Popeye's.)

See also:

- First Look: Trick Dog Bar

- See Your Beer's True Colors With Beertone

- 4505 Butcher Shop: Chicharrones Nachos, Chorizo Con Queso-Topped Sausages, and More

Claiming "we're hesitant to call ourselves 'chefs,'" Chef-owners Jason Limburg and Greg Faucette have aspirations that are commendably modest in an era of celebrity kitchen egos -- but that doesn't mean their pedigree doesn't speak for itself. With stints at Commonwealth, Spruce and NYC's Per Se between them, they've assembled some impressive wine pairings for dishes who simplicity is belied by the degree of technique required.

Think clams and prawns in romesco broth, kale and grilled bread with a bubbly 2011 Tempranillo Rioja or American speck, Asian pear, mustard seed and frisée with a NV Rouge Frais Imperial from Corsica, a spicy blend with "a lot going on."

Less a restaurant than a wine bar with small plates, "where the food complements the wine and vice versa," as Limburg puts it, Wine Kitchen parallels the Valencia Street's Etcetera in both ambience in price point, but with dishes that lean further into outright entrée territory. And if you're feeling bored with bar seating, you can always recline on a couch and luxuriate in the nose on that '08 Syrah.

Will Divisadero's newest venture draw folks from across the Bay Area? Maybe, maybe not--but for now, they're content to serve a nabe pleasantly in flux.

Wine Kitchen, 507 Divisadero, (415) 525-3485.

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Pete Kane

Pete Kane

Pete Kane is a total gaylord who is trying to get to every national park before age 40


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