Bluestem Brasserie’s American Wine and Dine Road Trip

By Inez Justine Aznar

Is it possible to go on a road trip while just in your seat at one of San Francisco’s stylish dining rooms? You betcha!

Dinner last April 11 was held at the Bluestem Brasserie at 1 Yerba Buena Lane, San Francisco, CA 94103 where every Thursday (until Fall) the menu features an American Road Trip. The spotlight is on a certain cuisine from one of America’s 50 States – and to which state did we hit the road, or take our plates that night? Arkansas!

Our wine hosts for the evening’s dinner fare were Greg Urmini, assistant winemaker for CrossBarn Winery and Tara Sharp, who represented both Paul Hobbs and CrossBarn Winery. CrossBarn, which is a venture of Paul Hobbs of the Paul Hobbs Wines, have wine features from the appellations of the Sonoma Coast, the Russian River Valley and the Napa Valley. And what a wine tasting trip it was indeed! Meticulous vineyard management followed by minimally-invasive winemaking techniques allows them to produce wines that express their vineyard origins with finesse, complexity and authenticity. Paul Hobbs wines are fermented with native yeasts, aged in French oak, and bottled unfined and unfiltered.

The bottles we had that evening certainly complemented well with the served dishes and also is a wonderful wine selection worth having for the summertime. Altogether, this “road trip” is really worth revisiting – even if it is only to experience a different state of mind!

Our dinner menu included Fried Pork Chops with sausage gravy, Baby Dandelion Greens, Tomato and Ramp Molded Salad, Piping Hot Bacon Cornbread Dessert and Strawberry Shortcake.

Our wine tasting menu included:

2012 CrossBarn Rosé of Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast
2012 Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast
2011 Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast
2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

Aside from their Thursday wine dinners, Bluestem Brasserie offers a topnotch dining experience for lunch and dinner service daily. Hang out at the bar during happy hour and enjoy small plates paired with their excellently blended cocktails. Our favorites were the Bluestem Smash, Blood Orange Margarita, The Honey Badger, Lavender Collins and The Velvet Storm. Highly recommended with these are their best-selling bar bites – Grilled Duck Hearts and Strawberries with Balsamic Reduction and Cows in a Quilt – which are biscuit-wrapped beef hotdogs with cheddar, onions and jalapeno jam.

The Lavender Collins and Bluestem Smash

Blood Orange Margarita

The Velvet Storm

If that’s not enough, get a table and feast on the following palate-pleasers – Short Rib Beef Burgundy with Housemade Egg Noodles, Black Truffle Cavatelli with Shaved Duck Prosciutto and/or The Saffron Braised Alaskan Halibut and the Grass Fed Fallon Hills Ranch Brasserie Burger; you’re welcome.

Grass Fed Fallon Hills Ranch Brasserie Burger with Endive Slaw, Chimichurri, Rustic Corn Bread Bun served with Pickled Garlic and Kennebec Fries

Saffron Braised Alaskan Halibut with Butter Beans, Spanish Chorizo, Pea Tendrils and Manila Clams

Bluestem Brasserie is at One Yerba Buena Lane San Francisco, CA 94103. They are open daily from 11am-11pm and you can make your reservations by calling 415.547.1111 or visit their website at