Cav – Great Wine Bar in Castro. Innovative wines, food

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Cav was the surprise of the trip.  My original expectation was just to share some wine and snacks with a friend I know from when I worked at Wally’s about 5 years ago.  She had left Wally’s while I was there and opened Cav some months later.  I was certainly looking forward to some good wine (she was the sommelier.) The wine did not disappoint, but it was the food that really blew us away.  Apparently, Pamela has partnered with a very gifted chef: Michael Lamina.  The menu offers a variety of wine-friendly small and large places.  The lobster Pot-au-Feu was one of my favorite dishes; the bouillon was impeccable; clear and flavorful with a few pieces of lobster. I could have just supped this all night. Other impressive dishes were the duck confit potato cake with poached yolk and warm chicory salad.  The yolk came out perfectly soft-cooked and it was fun to pop it and let it make a rich gravy for the moist duck.  The butternut squash ravioli was the right combination of creamy with a very delicate touch of pumpkin pie spices.  The seared duck breast came with house-made spaetzle and creamed mustard greens. (pictured below) I haven’t has spaetzle this good since I was in Germany.  It had the right texture; not too starchy or crumbly and had a great flavor.  THe house-made charcuterie and cured meats were a huge hit. (pictured below). This was a delightful assortment of salumi, delicately pickled veggies, and some unsual treats such as pig trotter and tongue.  We ended with a creative cheese plate sourced from France, California, and beyond.

Prices were great as well; small plates range from $7-$15 and large plates are mostly in the $20’s.  Excellent value for beautifully prepared dishes made with high-quality ingredients.  Incredible and eclectic selection of wines by the glass.  Pamela might be an old friend, but I am not biased.  Just go and check it out for yourself!

Cav Wine Bar

1666 Market St
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 437-1770

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