Maverick American Eatery & Wine Bar

Maverick American Eatery & Wine Bar

This diamond in the rough is the new entrepreneurial endeavor of
Michael Pierce and Scott Youkalis, formerly of Laurel Heights' swanky Sociale restaurant. Maverick, the rogue cousin, is nestled into one of the grittier blocks of the Mission District amongst authentic taquerias, seedy dive bars and the neighborhood's hallmark junk and thrift stores. But you won't find the local hipsters at this "American Eatery and Wine Bar" that serves up a veritable fine-dining experience to a more genteel brand of epicureans. Truth be told, it's more restaurant than wine bar, open only for dinner on weekdays with an added brunch on the weekends. The wine is carefully chosen, however, and you won't leave disappointed if you're willing to part with a little cash. Try the "Bubble Flight" to jumpstart a rowdy night on the town. Seating is limited, so arrive early (or better yet, make reservations) and be prepared for a lively crowd.

The buzz from this shoebox-sized boite is electric. Step in and the whirlwind experience begins. Tables immediately greet you at the door -- including a large communal one that features kitchen views. Since opening in July, general manager and wine director Mike Pierce and executive chef Scott Youkilis from Sociale haven't had time to look back, and neither will you.

Once inside, the vibe is warm and welcoming. But if you choose to visit during the weekend, don't plan on lingering after your meal -- they have tables to turn over. Judging by my visit, this Mission District restaurant is the place to go if you're a foodie staying on the pulse of the dining scene or a local checking out what's new in your neighborhood. -- Sarah Sung