The oenophiles behind Union Square’s Café de la Presse are now pouring biodynamic, sustainable wines at their new Financial District bar Herlen Place. Until they closed it in May, the space was Rouge et Blanc.The new look comes from architect Moss Wong, and the space is hung with work from French-born, Oakland-based photographer Bénédicte Lassalle.
The food, meanwhile is from Café de la Presse chef Patrick Albert, and the new list of organic, biodynamic, and sustainable wines, many available by the glass, was selected by Olivier Daridon, Café de la Presse’s general manager. Like Café de la Presse, Herlen Place is co-owned by Laurent Manrique, whose classic french technique has earned Michelin stars in San Francisco — one for the Kimpton Group’s Fifth Floor Restaurant in 2007 and two for the seafood-focused Aqua in 2006 and again in 2007.
Manrique still operates Aquitaine, a wine bistro styled after his native Gascony, in the Financial District. He also runs another area wine bar, Blanc et Rouge, at 2 Embarcadero Center. The new Herlen Place name change from the old Rouge et Blanc should clear up some some confusion, but not all: Herlen Place is located at 334 Grant Avenue at Harlan Place, a discrepancy in spelling that might cause some mistakes.
Like its predecessor, Herlen Place will serve coffee, breakfast, and brunch by day (until 2:30 p.m.) and wine and dinner by night. Below, peruse chef Albert’s menu of small plates, which run the gamut from melon gazpacho to chicken satay to sweets like chocolate mousse and croissant pudding. Herlen Place has 70 seats, including the bar and sidewalk patio, and daily hours are 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m..