I ventured up to The City last night to a little French bistro for an evening of wine tasting with friends. Tucked away on a busy boulevard in Noe Valley, Le Zinc appears inconspicuous from the street, yet is quite inviting once inside, with an unpretentious but comfortable eating area that gives way to a garden courtyard out back. Vintage jazz sung by Dinah Washington was playing softly overhead as I sat down to study the menu.
Le Zinc prepares an assortment of French wines by the glass and offers one 3-glass flight each of French whites and reds. They also boast a large selection of appetizers to accompany the wine. At six o’clock on a Thursday evening, dinner was a delightfully different cold-smoked cedar-plank cinnamon-crusted salmon with cous-cous and served with a lemon bieurre-blanc sauce. The perfect accompaniments? Fine baked breads and a glass of Alsatian Gewurztraminer!
As my friends joined me and more diners strolled in, we ordered our flights, which represented France quite well. A Loire Valley Pouilly-Fume was immediately likable, and a Montagna Saint-Emilion Bordeaux required an hour of swirling and sniffing before its vapors of dill and other herbs gave way to a more luscious full-bodied vanilla.
If you enjoy lingering over breakfast, lunch, or dinner, or just want to have a divine tapas-style snack and a glass of wine with a little French style, I believe you’ll enjoy the moments you spend at Le Zinc. It’s a taste of France and one of San Francisco’s many sparkling gems.