Powell Gets A Little Punchy

Downtown isn’t just for tourists these days, or at least that what the hotels want us to believe with all of the recent action taking place just off the Cable Car tracks.

Michael Mina seems like the last person in San Francisco with time on his hands, but apparently being a household name in the restaurant industry isn’t enough so he’s decided that what he really wants to do is be a bar owner.

Clock Bar opened in the Westin St. Francis hotel last week and to be sure that everyone appreciates the classic cocktail drink menu (because no one is serving Sidecars these days, right?) Mina also created a couple of menus with the help of chef Christian L’Hommedieu that feature small plates and pairing options. What do we think looks most interesting? The Lamb Tenderloin Panini with sweet peppers and sylvetta and the Black Truffle Popcorn.

A few blocks down the hill, Bar Norcini opened in the Villa Florence Hotel lobby next to Kuleto’s. If Clock Bar’s big draw is Michael Mina, then Bar Norcini’s big draw is the fact that it’s a salumi, cheese and wine bar to which we say, “Well, will you look at that?” Flights of wine are so 2007, but flights of salumi? Count us in. In fact, we’ve never seen flights of any meat on a menu before and while we know it just means a plate of variety, we can’t help be seduced by the concept.

We’ve got company in town this week and since we’ll undoubtedly be in the area, you can bet we’ll want to stop in for a drink before hoping on the cable car in route to a more traditional (and traditionally dreaded) tourist destination.

Clock Bar [Official Site]

[Photo via iandeth/Flickr]

Powell Gets A Little Punchy