Visitors to San Francisco in search of an early evening respite from shopping in Union Square or museum-browsing South of Market would be hard-pressed to improve on Press Club.
An elegant stairwell off Yerba Buena Lane (adjacent to the Four Seasons) leads to a spacious warren of hardwood tables, lounge chairs & comfortably subdued lighting. The focus here is on wine, particularly from California, but the menu spans the globe and also includes dozens of exotically dubbed craft beers (Dogfish Head "Hellbound On My Ale" IPA, etc).
On a recent visit we enjoyed a flight of the "Usual Suspects" (Beauregard Chardonnay from Santa Cruz, Suacci Carciere Pinot Noir from Santa Rosa and Textbook Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa) along with some bright and peppery Devil's Gulch Cheese from Cowgirl Creamery in Point Reyes Station.
One could see Press Club getting fairly lively on a weekend evening (it also hosts corporate events), but at three o'clock on a Saturday afternoon we shared the premises with only a pair of pleasant young mothers and a group of cardiologists in town for a convention. We were all quite happy.
Press Club, 20 Yerba Buena Lane, San Francisco, (415) 744-5000, Mon-Thur 4p.m.–11 p.m., Fri– Sun 2 p.m. – close.