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Jul 31, 2009 01:24 PM

Cav Wine Bar & Kitchen

Starting a new topic since I think (as suggested by the addition to the name) the food has gotten much better since some of the early reports.

I'm so into the wine that I often forget how great the food is. Went last week and had a great three-cheese plate ($20), nice hamachi crudo ($11), crispy pig's trotters with quail eggs ($12), a steak ($23), roasted asparagus ($6), and pot de creme ($7.50). That was pelnty of food for two and everything was delicious.

They also lay out the best spread of housemade charcuterie in town.

The selection of wines by the glass is one of the most interesting anywhere and there's always something I haven't had before, such the South African Viognier and a Thai 100% mangosteen dessert wine I had on this visit.

Cav Wine Bar
1666 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

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  1. Has the chef changed? I've had great meals there off and on from the start, including the best Boudin Blanc I've ever had, and chicken liver mousse that is my gold standard. Unfortunately, not everything is always super successful, which I attribute to the menu changing so often.

    1 Reply
    1. re: SteveG

      Michael Lamina has been chef since October 2007.

    2. Yeah, it's nice to see this place have more substantial food on the menu. I agree about the wines available by the glass - always a bunch of obscure and interesting options to choose from, and the servers are friendly and helpful. I also like that one can order a half glass of any selection - makes it easier to try more wines. (Although sometimes I feel like occasionally a wine makes it onto that list in part because it's so obscure - ie a rationale along the lines of, it's maybe quite up to par but heck it's so odd and unusual that it's worth exposing people to it...)

      I like the cheese plate and charcuterie best; I agree with Steve G that execution can be a bit uneven. I was there the other night and the green beans I had were so al dente I thought my chewing would drown out the conversation.

      But I like how they aim for seasonality. And Lamina's obsession with pig's trotters is somehow cute, I think last time I was there they appeared in 2 or 3 different menu items.

      1. They're having a happy hour special for August, 20% off small and large plates from 5-7 Mon.-Thurs.

        1. Pam Busch has always done a great job with the wine selection

          1. I went this past weekend and had a great meal: gazpacho, trotters with quail eggs, pork chop, artic char, pot de creme, and peach tart. All of it was well prepared, perfectly seasoned, and just delicious.

            The wine recommendations were great - a German Reisling (great with the Trotters) and our own red wine flight - a selection of 3 half glasses - all of which were awesome, but my favorite was the Tempranillo.

            The half-glass and full glass options make it so easy to eat and drink here.