Wine pairings are so 2011.
It’s 2012, and Maven’s bringing out the big guns. With cocktail pairings.
Really — why didn’t anyone think of this before? We pair white wine with fish, craft beer with brats, but your Manhattan’s been asking, "Where’s the beef?" for way too long.
Maven, the new, loft-like neighborhood lounge lighting up the corner of Haight and Steiner, pairs maple-drizzled skirt steak with their play on the Manhattan (it’s got amaro alongside bourbon and vermouth, and it’s top-notch).
From your tall seat overlooking the open kitchen, you’re just getting warmed up. Share warm, gin-brined olives and juniper-salted Kennebec fries with a perfect, classic Martini and a few good friends.
Don’t share your duck sliders paired with the delicious “5 Spot” (Jamaican rum, lime, and five spice).
Of course, if your date wants wine, they’ll pair that for you too, and there are beer pairings for those business lunches.
Or if you're ready for it: black ale and brownies.
598 Haight St. (at Steiner), Lower Haight
Price: 3 (out of 4) Noise: 3 (out of 4)
Scene: Like the corner it occupies, the scene is a Lower Haight/Hayes Valley/Castro mash-up with everyone amicably rubbing elbows at fallen-timber communal tables.
About the dude at the door: They don’t take reservations, but the nice (if awkwardly placed) gentleman at the front will help steer you toward seats as they open.
Best bets: Gin-brined olives and Kennebec fries with a martini; braised fennel and watercress with the “International Mistress” (amaro, mescal, citrus); duck sliders with the “5 Spot” (Jamaican rum, lime, five spice).
Hot seat: Quite literally, it’s the couch upstairs by the fireplace.
Nearby: 2 Sisters Bar & Books; Uva enoteca; Underground SF
Photo by Ariel Soto-Suver