At the helm of his urban winery in the heart of the Cedros Design District, winemaker Adam Carruth handcrafts award-winning wines, including the 2011 San Francisco Chronicle Best in Class Alexander Valley Cabernet, from grapes he fastidiously collects from all over California. His team handles the production of each varietal from crush to finish, aging juices in barrels that line the walls of the industrial-chic tasting room. The final products—which range from a crisp sauvignon blanc to a bordeaux-style Surfing Madonna—slosh into customized stemware for patrons’ enjoyment seven days a week. Also in the tasting room, guests can peruse the exhibited work of local artists, break into crunchy baguettes from Bread & Cie or nibble on cheese.
Under the guidance of new ownership, Twisted Vine's mauve and mustard-yellow tables, spaced out within the airy and sunny dining room, welcome diners looking to kick back and sample small plates of tapas loaded with farm-fresh produce. A selection of wines from around the world and a rotation of local craft beers on tap enhance the small plates of Mediterranean lamb or douse the flames of jacket sleeves that accidentally catch on fire. Guests can also sup on entrees of duck confit or Brazilian flank steak with chimichurri sauce.
Harbor views are typically hard to come by in December, when restaurants pack up their patios and move their business indoors. Thankfully, Dominic’s at the Harbor has perfected an alternative. From the Italian eatery’s heated patio, diners can watch sunlight glint off the water regardless of the season. The smell of salt that lingers on the outdoor breeze complements seafood entrees such as shrimp and mahi mahi sautéed with garlic and wine. If that sounds like too much ocean for you, try a thin-crust margarita pizza topped with fresh basil and sliced tomatoes or a white pizza with three cheeses and a drizzle of olive oil. Diners can round out any meal with a bottle of vintage cabernet sauvignon or a tall boot of chardonnay from the D’Vino wine bar, located within the restaurant.
Olivetto Ristorante and its owner Angelo Fiore welcome patrons with homey ambiance and selection of modern Italian fare influence by classic recipes. In 2008, the San Diego Reader claimed "it has all the virtues of a 'neighborhood Italian joint' – warmth, spirit, informality, prices not too bad – but the food is better than most," and Zagat's menu rating of "very good to excellent" supports this assertion. They make their own ravioli and pesto in-house and bake fresh loaves of bread. To accompany meals, the café also features a wine selection with refreshing whites and heartier reds from around the world, including authentic Italian offerings. Olivetto welcomes any meeting, from business get-togethers to romantic dinners.
With room for only 20 oenophiles within its tasting quarters, Proprietor’s Reserve Wine Bar crafts a menu of regional dishes designed to complement the establishment's colossal selection of wines. The next tasting event, the Best of France meal, features six Franco-influenced dishes and six carefully matched wines, with each bite and sip enhancing the other in a flavorsome tag-team taste-bud assault. Past dinners have highlighted the cuisine of other regions, including South Africa, a meal that boasted unique small plates and entrees such as diced chicken slathered in apricot-ginger sauce and wine-braised short ribs with crème fraiche smashed potatoes, and a gathering dedicated to Moffett Vineyards' wines featured epicurean cameos by risotto studded with spicy sausage, garlic, chive, and leek paired with a selection of C&T Cellars sauvignon blanc and pinot noir.
Fifty Seven Degrees' stock is larger than a baleen smile, with hundreds of carefully selected wines, several different microbrews, and one double-secret Atmosphere vintage, containing 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, and 1% stellar residue. Take a seat at the newly installed circular bar and unfold a menu to reveal the wine bar offerings, which include a variety of tapas. Help your mouth heal the hunger of the past with The Nosh, a trio of aged cheddar cheese, crackers, and green olives ($12), or completely obliterate boring tastes with The Gnash, which takes The Nosh and bolts high-performance gherkins, hard salami, and a French baguette to its lightweight frame ($18).