Wine Kitchen Proves Western Addition's Growing Clout
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.)
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.