[Photo: Patricia Chang]
For SOMA denizens who can't afford to dine at Saison on the regular but are looking for something a little nicer than the ballpark-adjacent casual joints, Les Clos has come to the rescue. The new French bistro and wine bar, opening tomorrow, is the brainchild of Mark Bright, Saison's wine director (he also owns Divis' Vinyl Wine Bar). Bright has brought two more Saison staffers on board: chef Shawn Gawle (Saison's former pastry chef, who's previously worked as a savory chef for the likes of Laurent Gras and Jean-Marie Lacroix), and Cara Patricia Higgins (Saison's cellarmaster, acting as operations manager here).
Les Clos is intended to be an all-day affair, running from morning coffee and pastries right through to late-night glasses of wine. The early shift will feature omelettes, waffles, caneles de Bordeaux, pastries from Le Marais Bakery, and Sightglass coffee, with lunch and dinner bringing a smaller sit-down menu of sandwiches and salads. From lunchtime on, diners will also be able to sample a selection of over 20 cheeses (many also available to go), charcuterie, caviar, and raw or broiled oysters. Dinner brings a few other small plates, including mussel and saffron stew, Parisian gnocchi, and chicken with couscous. Here's the full menu.
On the wine side, Bright is offering 40 vintages by the taste, glass, or carafe, with an emphasis on Burgundy (but plenty of choices from all over). The options range from affordable to lavish: a 10-ounce carafe of white wine or rosé runs as low as $16, while a vintage '88 Pommard Burgundy will run you $92 a glass. Flights of three 3-ounce wines are offered in categories like "local" and "tour of Burgundy." Bright also stocks a selection of more than 5,000 Burgundies by the bottle, many available nowhere else in the U.S.—wine geeks are likely to lose their minds a little. There's also beer (five drafts), sake, vermouth, and a wide selection of tea (including some pricey aged pu-erhs) for those who'd rather skip the wine. But be warned: their beer and wine license is still in the works (it's expected to arrive next week), so you may want to call before you head over for a drink.
The petite, 10-table space is heavy on wood and comfy brown leather couches, and filled with 15th-century maps of Burgundy. Hours will be 8 am-3 pm until that liquor license comes through, extending to 8 am-12 am once the wine is pouring (10 am on weekends).
· The Most Anticipated San Francisco Bars of the Fall [~ ESF ~]
· Mark Bright's Wine Bar Will Be Called Les Clos [~ ESF ~]
· Saison's Wine Director Opening A SOMA Cafe/Wine Bar [~ ESF ~]