Rouge et Blanc for Wine and Food
In terms of wine, the upscale Rouge et Blanc bar in downtown San Francisco has got you covered. You can hardly get anything better than what is on their impressive list.
The Vin Blanc section is brimming with non-pedestrian varietals, like marsanne, roussanne, torrentes, verdelho, vermentino, and vernaccia. A glass of Sella and Mosca vermentino from Sardinia pairs nicely with house-marinated Greek olives– meaty and mild, and drenched in olive oil with thyme and rosemary.
Vin Rouge includes many inspired creations from California, Italy, and of course, France. An amazing Jean-Luc Colombo 2009 Les Forots syrah from Cotes du Rhone is a rare-for-the-region 100-percent syrah – as invigorating and refreshing as an April shower. Chateau Haut-Beausejour 2008 Saint-Estephe cab from Bordeaux is strong and full-bodied, a king of red wines.
Food, or rather, finger food at this wine bar is not too shabby, either.
A little quiche with bacon and cheese – airy and melting in your mouth; a little duck confit and a little Beef Bourguignon in brioche sliders topped with a tiny boiled potato or even tinier cornichon pickle.
Rosette de Lyon sausage, duck rillette, and of course Comte and melt-in-your-mouth Brillat Savarin on the cheese board that pair oh-so-divinely with carefully selected wines. What not to like?
The ambience is that of your (or your affluent friend’s) living room – if you have an affluent friend or perhaps, an enviably spacious-yet-cozy living room.
Leather sofas, armchairs, art pieces on warmly-colored walls, low tables and high bar stools by the window-side counter overlooking bustling Grant Avenue – everything calls for lounging, lingering, and enjoying your wine and tasty bites in a friendly company. Then an Edith Piaf song starts playing in the background – and you are in Paris…
Rouge et Blanc is not only about wine, though. Aperitifs, cocktails, sangria, beer, and hard liquors get stellar representation here.
An aromatic tulip glass of Speyside Balvenie double-wood 12-year-old scotch is great as aperitif, or on its own.
Dessert macarons of raspberry, lemon, and chocolate flavors are light and sweet, and make a good accompaniment to a sophisticated selection of ports, Muscat, and sauterne, especially the 2006 Chateau Rieussec from Bordeaux – a real treat.
Rouge et Blanc does not take reservations and does not have a host station. It serves coffee and breakfast items, including French pastries, every morning starting at 8 am, and then lunch salads and sandwiches until 2 pm. From 2 to 10 pm the place turns into an upscale wine bar.
Rouge et Blanc is located at 334 Grant Avenue in San Francisco. More information at (415) 391-0207 or their website.