The guiding palates at Russian Hill's Et Al.
Pheasant's Tears with a piala, or Georgian clay wine bowl
When Ceri Smith opened her Russian Hill wineshop, Biondivino, in 2006, she stocked it with a point of view, focusing on the unusual Italian wines she favored.
Amaryll Schwertner and Lori Regis followed the pole star of their palates when they opened Boulettes Larder, serving what they loved, from cannelés to duck confit.
Now the trio is collaborating at Et Al., Smith’s new Polk Street enoteca, which unites the trio’s razor-sharp senses of taste.
The wine list globe-trots across Europe: From Emilia-Romagna, represented by a ruby-red Vigneto Saetti Lambrusco ($9 per glass), through the continent's great Riesling-producing regions, all the way to the country of Georgia, represented by a Rkatsiteli Amber from Pheasant’s Tears ($9.50 per glass). The latter is quirky, aged in beeswax-lined clay vessels that are buried underground, the wine acquiring a deep orange hue as it ferments.
The food has a similarly Eurocentric focus. There’s a classic French beef tartare ($20), enhanced by capers, the yolk of a quail egg and olio nuovo; a whisper-light white-bean purée slicked with lemon oil ($12); and tinned seafood ($18) from the Galician company Conservas de Cambados, its perfect sardines and razor clams nominally gussied up with herb salsa and served with toasted Josey Baker bread.
El Al., 2255 Polk St. (at Green St.); 415-655-3155 or etalsf.com
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