Whether you’re a visitor to San Francisco or a native, you know the city’s reputation as one of the world’s great culinary capitals. People may not visit the city solely for the food, but they certainly avail themselves of San Fran’s bounty of locally sourced delicacies while they’re here. With such standards to uphold, new restaurants have to offer something truly special — a convivial ambiance, outstanding food, stellar service — to survive.

One that offers all three is RN74, an elegant wine bar and restaurant on Mission Street just south of Market and a few blocks from the waterfront. Restaurateur Michael Mina clearly has the formula for success, yet nothing about RN74 feels formulaic. From the eclectic menu that stars local ingredients in exotic roles to the efficient, but unobtrusive staff, the restaurant blends comfortable familiarity with novelty.

A Theme with a Purpose

RN74 takes its name from the main route that winds through the Burgundy region of France. Wine is a focal point both on the menu and in the glass. A wine list as extensive as RN74’s would do credit to a wine merchant’s inventory. The focus is on Burgundies, particularly boutique vineyards that share a terroir with the grand cru vineyards, but the list of Champagnes is almost as extensive. When you visit the wine bar, pair a glass with one of the addictive bar snacks from the kitchen. Parmesan crackers or warmed olives are a perfect portion for one, while oysters on the half shell and RN74’s signature fondue are fun to share.

Fun is an element that too many restaurants and wine bars lack, but Michael Mina ensures that patrons here enjoy a playful take on seriously good food and wine. RN74’s decor incorporates a massive train board that tracks the last bottle sold, revealing it for other diners’ approbation and giving them ideas for the next bottle to lubricate their own table. Dining should be a celebratory experience, and Michael Mina respects that elemental joie de vivre that the French traditionally bring to mealtimes. Monks in a refectory may contemplate their meals in silence, but RN74’s lively atmosphere feels festive.

However lighthearted a meal or a drink at RN74 may feel, it’s clear that the chefs take the food itself quite seriously. Every dish, from the humble fried green tomatoes to the richly marbled Wagyu flat iron steak, contains ingredients that have their own terroir. Local and regional sourcing means less travel time from farm to table, so you’ll enjoy the freshest food available. Burgundy may be the inspiration for RN74’s menu, but the menu moves beyond France to incorporate some of the freshest ideas in modern American cuisine as well.

SoMa Staple at the Base of the Millennium Tower

French style and flavor infuse RN74, but it retains its own charming character. By turns playful and sublime, RN74 at 301 Mission Street in San Francisco is well worth a visit. The restaurant is located on the ground floor of the Millennium Tower, a 60 story luxury condo building in the heart of the SOMA district. The Millennium Tower is also home to football great Joe Montana, and has been called the most luxurious residential building in all of California. For a taste of this good life, visit RN74 today.

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