Following the success of his nearby bar, Alembic, Dave McLean turned his eye to his decade-old brewpub on Haight Street, Magnolia Gastropub & Brewery. His new chef, Brandon Jew, has gone decidedly upscale with pub-grub: The shepherd’s pie is topped with bone-marrow butter and the pork cracklings are made from Berkshire pigs. And while there’s a small list of affordable esoteric wines like Amador County barbera or roditis from Greece, even wine lovers will want to check out the beer made in the efficient basement brewery. Try the fresh, cask-conditioned Blue Bell Bitter with the delicately fried, wild boar headcheese–it’s an excellent antidote to a cold, foggy San Francisco night.
1398 Haight St., San Francisco, California
Based in San Francisco, Wolfgang Weber was the Italian wine critic at W&S. He now works with the Revel Wine and Selection Massale, and continues to write freelance. Nebbiolo is his spirit grape but if he were to live anywhere in Italy, he’d choose Liguria.
This story appears in the print issue of October 2008.
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