It's finally Friday but if you need plans that don't involve pizza or your couch, we hear you. We're happy to report on a new venue by day, wine club by night that has your Friday night sorted: Aprés. Serving natural wines, low ABV cocktails and elevated snacks, the wine bar is the perfect post work, pre weekend transition. It all goes down inside Cerf Club, a new venue in San Francisco that has already hosted events for brands like Aman. Cerf Club is actually the creation of San Francisco catering company, Stag Dining, who decided to open the venue and since it was imagined to be a gathering space for all, Aprés at Cerf Club was born. Here's the fun part: it's only open once a week on Fridays from 4-10pm. Casual yet lively, the beautifully executed space is welcoming, the team is knowledgable, and the food and drink offerings are unreal.
Our editor, Heather, recently popped in to Aprés to see what the buzz is about. She got a crash course in natural wine, sampled the snacky menu and took in the stunning space. Her top tip? Get the deviled eggs. Always get the deviled eggs. Read on for her full report on why your Friday night should be spent at Aprés.
Photography by David Dines
What exactly is Aprés?
Aprés is a weekly wine club serving natural wines (more on that here), low ABV cocktails and a rotating food menu from Stag Dining. It's hosted every Friday evening at Cerf Club – Stag's new venue in the heart of San Francisco. Fun fact: "Cerf" means deer in French.
Give us a rundown of the menu? Any standouts?
The menu is snacky, shareable and rotates every week. I met up with restaurant insider, Lisa Nourse and left the ordering to her since she is familiar with the menu – good thing I did. We ordered deviled eggs topped with trout, bleu cheese stuffed olives, and an octopus conserva served with old school egg salad and celery salad. Don't let the seemingly simple concepts fool you – I've never had more delicious variations of any of the items. The deviled eggs were such a fun twist on a classic – if I had to pick a favorite, they might be it.
On the adult beverage front, I ordered the Cerf Club rosé – more than once. As mentioned, all of the wines are "natural" or free from additives, so they have a self proclaimed "funkiness" to them. For example, we tried a local red the Cerf Club team was loving at the moment: it was more orange in color than red and almost effervescent. That aforementioned funkiness turned the tasting into an experience, and of course, it was delicious.
Time to dive into design - give us the inside scoop.
The design is so good! As soon as you walk into the open space, the soft tones, light woods and relaxed atmosphere instantly welcome you. There's an overall feeling of community and openness. The watercolor walls each represent one of the four seasons – a design detail not to overlook. Angular wood installations by Portand artist, Nolan Restivo climb up the walls while the mural work is done by artist Victor Reyes, who’s also responsible for the artwork on Stag’s Cerf Club wine labels. There are long tables for gathering, cozy corners for lounging, and bar seating for grabbing a quick drink. Small details like the indigo-dyed pillows and custom cow-hide benches add texture to the airy space. The whole venue encourages conversation, meeting new people and truly just enjoying your Friday night.
Profile the perfect diner.
The cool thing about Aprés is that there were groups of families catching up with their children in tow, couples starting off date night, and groups of friends grabbing a glass of wine together. There really is no perfect diner here – the casual yet lively atmosphere lends itself to everyone.
Final thoughts on this new restaurant?
Bring your friends and make it a date! Since Aprés is only open once a week, it's a really unique and fun experience to share with friends. The set up of the long tables and comfy corners is perfect for settling in with a glass (or bottle) of wine. Plus, it's the perfect intro to natural wine!
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