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C California Style

At VERJUS, red lacquered ceilings nod to the traditional French wine bar color palette. Photography by Christopher Stark.

A Casual Affair

by C California Style

Chef Michael Tusk and his wife Lindsay open Verjus, an SF restaurant inspired by their love of traveling across Europe

For their latest outpost, Verjus, Lindsay Tusk and her husband, chef Michael Tusk (the pair behind Michelin-starred Quince and Cotogna) say they were inspired by the kinds of restaurants they like to eat at while traveling in Europe: caves à manger, wine bar/small plates/retail shop hybrids that have revolutionized the dining scene in Paris in recent years. Options from the market-driven menu might range from a filling pot-au-feu with vegetables from Fresh Run Farm in Bolinas to a tortilla Española. The wine list, which also skews French, includes accessible small-production bottles and glasses. Guests can comfortably perch with wine and food, or peruse items for purchase. Feel like picking up small-batch Le Sanctuaire spices, or a bottle of wine to take to a party? Cool. Want to spend hours over a full dinner and wine while browsing vintage cookbooks? Also cool. 528 Washington St., S.F., 415-944-4600; verjuscave.com.

Written by CANDACE JACKSON.