April 6, 2018

San Francisco: Herlen Place; restaurant review


San Francisco

Herlen Place  334 Grant Ave./Harlan Pl., in the Financial District, 1 blk. S of Chinatown gate, (415) 391-0207.  Daily from 8am-9pm. 

Located just a few doors down from its sister restaurant, Cafe de la Presse, this small glass-box of a spot features giant windows to the street action (one entertaining sight is the double-decker tourist buses that ply this popular area).  Sidewalk-side tables are available in front--perfect for the occasional warm weather--and assorted seating in the high-ceilinged interior includes couches, marble-topped high and low tables, and bar seating.  The interior displays a selection of images by renowned French photographer Bénédicte Lassalle. 

The short menu changes regularly, and on the evening I dined here it featured tasty vegetable-centric small plates.  The also short but interesting wine menu presents complementary vintages along with a few beers and coffees.  The space is primarily a wine lounge, and the staff is trained in assisting with selection.  Our waiter led us to three wines I enjoyed very much.  We ordered by the glass, and each vintage was served in a carafe making it easy to share our tasting.  We settled on two pinot noirs, a 2014 Bouchaine from Napa Valley and a 2015 Cigar Box from Casablanca Valley in Chile.  Both were very good, but we favored the more complex Cigar Box.  When the waiter realized I am fond of earthy pinot noirs from Oregon, he suggested a 2010 Marchesidi Gresy Merlot from Piemonte, Italy.  It was very, very good. 

To enhance our wines and satisfy our hunger, we ordered a simple avocado hummus topped with pistachio nuts, a plate of vegetable tempura, and two empanadas--one beef with a spicy dipping sauce, and one chicken with a milder sauce.  More veggie options included a whole roasted cauliflower with curry butter, a vegetable pickle board, and potato croquettes.  Non-vegetarians can get their fix with buffalo chicken drumettes, a smoked salmon tart, and a charcuterie board.  Coffee and breakfast items--croissants, potato-cheese galettes, egg dishes--are served until 2:30 p.m.

exterior of Herlen Place wine bar in San Francisco, California
exterior of Herlen Place wine bar in San Francisco, California


exterior seating at Herlen Place wine bar in San Francisco, California
exterior seating at Herlen Place wine bar in San Francisco, California


bar at Herlen Place wine bar in San Francisco, California
bar at Herlen Place wine bar in San Francisco, California


table set up and view at Herlen Place wine bar in San Francisco, California
table set up and view at Herlen Place wine bar in San Francisco, California


wine pour and small plates at Herlen Place wine bar in San Francisco, California
wine pour and small plates at Herlen Place wine bar in San Francisco, California


colorful empanadas at Herlen Place wine bar in San Francisco, California
colorful empanadas at Herlen Place wine bar in San Francisco, California


More things to do in San Francisco's Financial District.

More things to do in San Francisco

Way more things to do in San Francisco.

More ideas for exploring Northern California.

images ©2018 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

1 comment:

  1. Always looking for new places to discover in SF! And especially ones with empanadas - yummy!

    ReplyDelete