Biondivino brings on the bruschetta


Assuming that it is an actual word, we have great enamorosity of Ceri Smith and her shop, Biondivino in San Francisco. We’re addicted to her tastings as well as her recommendations and knowledge of Italian wines–of course her long time employee, Zach knows his business as well.

Whenever we’re in San Francisco, we always stop by. Two years ago it was to see the freshly opened Et Al which is sadly, no more. Ceri isn’t one to sit still though and since then she’s become the Wine Director at the reinvented, Tosca Cafe and been named as one of the top sommeliers by Food & Wine magazine.

Of course don’t forget about her adorable and well-stocked shop in Russian Hill. There she’s recently added the “Bruschette Menu” on weekends (a note to Anglophones, that’s “broosketa” not “broosheta”) ranging from $4-10 along with wines by the glass to have from the selection that Biondivino carries.

A slab of toasted bread with tomato, pesto, cheese, or other toppings may not seem all that groundbreaking but we’ve never known Ceri to half ass anything and this proves to be no exception as everything is incredibly top notch (the mozzarella is transcendent) and cooked by her in-house chef, Nicola Gherson. The combination of bruschetta, with a glass of wine and sitting at one of the tables is a potent combination for spending the whole evening in the establishment and when seeing the setup for the first time, we witnessed many couples doing just this and opting for full bottles to share and take home after.

It’s easy to see why this would be popular. It allows Ceri a space to create a non-bar tasting room with wines by the glass and tasty nibbles. In all truth, she’s basically been doing this for years now in the shop as she has an insanely dedicated band of regulars who come by for the tastings and to buy wines (her price range is one of the best in San Francisco.) And while wine bars have been all the rage in San Francisco for nearly a decade now, there are essentially none in Russian Hill and Ceri adds a personal touch and passion for wine that the others don’t quite reach.

If you’re in town, it’s a highly recommended stop whether you want want wine, bruschette, or the highly recommended option of “both please”.