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Eat + Drink Blog

February 20, 2007

In the Ballpark

As baseball season approaches we’re all aware of the myriad places around the ballpark to drink Vodka drinks (e.g. Paragon), stand and chatter in claustrophobic throngs (Momo’s), etc. But just a block down from where you can guzzle margaritas (Tres Agaves), there is now a place to sip Sauvignon Blanc, munch on risotto balls and rhapsodize about Pinot Noir. The name of the place is District and it brings a touch of sophistication to a neighborhood that needed it.

But District would have been successful in any neighborhood. At the center of the room is a beautiful rounded bar that was hand-made in Brazil and shipped in. It’s flanked by high tables on one side and plush couches on the other with a communal, stand-around table in the front. The high ceilings belong to the hundred-year-old red brick building that gives the space tremendous depth and a sense of its industrial past.

What’s most important, though, is the libations, and the list is constructed by the irrepressible Caterina Mirabelli, who arrived from Los Angeles with a sterling  resume from some of the best restaurants there. Perhaps diminutive in stature, she towers over most people with her heart, enthusiasm, and ambition. Caterina’s fashioned a list with wine flights that are truly provocative and wine selections that range from around the world (Sauvignon Blanc from South Africa, Pinot Noir from Slovenia and more than a few picks from her native Italy). She’s backed by a great menu from Jen Solomon (that will be expanding in the next few weeks). And the three owners are these tall good-looking guys who could have stepped straight out of the cast of Melrose Place. Their eternal presence gives the place its guy-ish vibe and makes you believe them when they say that they’ll definitely broadcast the Giants games on District’s flat screen. This makes me happy, as I’ve long craved a Sports Wine bar, where, instead of beer and wings, I could drink a glass of Negro Amaro and nibble olives while rooting the Giants to the NL championship.

216 Townsend Street (corner of Ritch)

Posted by Jordan Mackay, on February 20, 2007 at 1:21 PM, PST