Swanky Lunch Spot Meets Happy Hour

By MARIAM HOSSEINI
|  Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011  |  Updated 10:30 AM PDT
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Swanky Lunch Spot Meets Happy Hour

Eggplant and Burrata Panino.

I may have gone to Taverna Aventine for a quick lunch during a workday, but I felt like I’d been transported to a dark, sleek bar on a late-night weekend. I guess it just goes to show how versatile Taverna Aventine is.

Located on the edge of North Beach just a couple blocks from the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco, Taverna Aventine is a jack of all trades.

Swanky bar, lunchtime spot, happy hour meetup – this place is all of the above. I had a eggplant and burrata panino with a green salad and house-made chips for lunch.

I’ve been on a real burrata kick lately and I love eggplant, so this sandwich was a winner. The gooey, slightly sweet burrata melded perfectly against the deep-fried eggplant and toasty bread. It was messy, albeit delicious. Any qualms I felt about the unhealthiness of it all was eased by the fresh salad on the side.

Service is friendly without being intrusive, and it probably helped that the place wasn’t too busy in the middle of the day.

After all, Taverna Aventine’s ambiance feels nocturnal: dark wood, antique piano, local vintage maps – the interior exudes a warm, saloon-like quality. I haven’t been back to Taverna Aventine for drinks yet, but if their food is any indication of the quality of their libations, then I know I’m in for a treat.

Mariam Hosseini is a Bay Area native who has been writing about food and travel for six years.  She blogs regularly at yogurtsoda.com.

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