I’d first noticed BrewVino after having dinner at the Spanish place next door, Destapas. The teal entryway leads into a super-cute little wine store nook that immediately drew me in. Co-owner Teddy Osmundson eagerly leaped out to welcome us, but we’d just eaten. He and his wife/partner, Carly, opened the part-retail/part-restaurant in early 2021, after five years in the business, and during all the uncertainty of the era. Their cred for wine seems to be legit. Teddy’s enthusiasm for his and Carly’s culinary endeavor was infectious, and I really looked forward to coming back.
Upon entering BrewVino, once past the funky/adorable wine shop, with its racks of super-interesting wines/wine accoutrements, tchotchkes, and a cold case with all manner of craft brews, you find a bar and main dining room to the right. It is spare, brightly lit, kinda cafeteria-like, with modern décor and a kind of retro mural. It feels a bit mismatched, especially with the sports bar television dangling from the ceiling. But if you follow along the corridor by the kitchen, suddenly you’re on a cozy/casual patio with tables, umbrellas and heat lamps. We parked ourselves there.
Three of us split a salad, Brussels sprouts and two pizzas. First, the sprouts.
Fried, with lemon and Manchego; these were maybe a little too fried, but with a good lemony tartness. The Manchego was visible but not discernible, taste-wise, unfortunately. But no matter, we ate the whole thing.
Next came the salad.
Their salads change often, and this night’s arugula, strawberries, and mozzarella was a stand-out. Very fresh, and the combination of the sweet strawberries, even so early in the season (last month), the creamy mozz, the peppery arugula, and the crunchy toasted pine nuts really worked well. I’d happily order this again, when in season.
Next, pizza Margherita…
…and salami and pepperoncini.
These are 12 inches, thin crusted, and both were really good, but the salami & ‘cini was excellent: Super juicy, a little char on the crust. Both had a lightness, with the right chew and heft you want in a pizza. They left me wanting more.
Now, the wines: Quite the hit of the evening! We were pleased with all our picks: A chardonnay, a lovely Italian rosé, a Mendocino red wine blend from Saracina Vineyards, and an Italian Barbera, the 2018 Scarpa Casascarpa. All very reasonably priced and all with a depth of flavor and surprising notes.
The wine list is quite eclectic and intriguing, with bottles from all over the world. The only downside for us that night was that we loved a couple of them so well we wanted to buy a bottle or two, only to be told they were not in stock, and would possibly not be coming back, as the wine selection changes often. This is a good and a bad thing, so drink your favorites up fast, take pics, and see if you can find them elsewhere. Or just keep coming back and trying new vino! There’s also a full selection of canned and draft beer, and specialty sodas.
And, as I couldn’t leave well enough alone … I ordered an al pastor pizza to take home to the BF:
Wow. First, love that compostable carrying case that let the pizza breathe, yet kept it warm until I got home. It traveled well. The al pastor itself was porky and flavorful, decadent with three kinds of cheese, and a light fruity bite from the pineapple, jalapeños, and fresh red onion slices. A different take on pizza, and it might be my first choice if someone were to ask. They offer gluten-free crusts on their pizzas, vegetarian and vegan options, too, desserts, and a kiddie menu.
While the patio is a great refuge, especially during Covid-19 times (cuz it ain’t over, folks), it could stand a bit of spiffing up. But who cares? Picture yourself: You’re sitting there, basking in the sun, light breeze in your locks, sipping languidly on a Greek rosé, and suddenly the food smacks you in the face with modern, fresh combinations and farm-to-table goodness and you’re all, “Where am I? Wine from Croatia? Rotating craft beer, wha?”
Service was warm and friendly, and the Osmundsons seem hell-bent on making this a community space, open to all, and on employing mostly locals. There’s now a happy hour, and I hear brunch is coming back this summer … (By the way, the patio is available for private parties, and my friend is thinking about renting it for her wedding!) Make a beeline to BrewVino this summer and support our neighbors!
2706 24th St.
San Francisco, CA 94110