Fast-casual favorite Souvla opens its fifth location today in Dogpatch. The menu features the same Greek staples with contemporary flair that fans of Souvla have come to know—think the Thomas Farms lamb leg and crispy Greek fries—with the addition of a hot and cold mezé selection, which boasts chilled octopus salad, saganaki and more.
But what truly sets the newest Souvla apart from its counterparts is the wine. According to Souvla CEO Charles Bililies, it’s the first restaurant in the United States with an all-Greek beverage menu.
It’s also larger than the Souvla locations in NoPa, Hayes Valley, the Mission and the Marina. The lofty exposed-brick dining room is flanked by a sleek L-shaped bar where patrons can sip 10 Greek varietals.
And in the same way that Souvla’s food menu provides an accessible entry point to traditional Greek dishes, the simple tasting terms headlining each selection of Souvla’s new wine bar provide a fast-casual approachability that will surely appeal to first-time diners.
Here are a few things to know about the Greek wines on the Souvla menu before you go.
Red | Kir-Yianni Winery
If you’re eyeing Souvla’s plant-based Black Sheep “lamb” meatballs on the hot mezé menu, the Ramnista presents a full-bodied pairing choice. It’s a robust Xinomavro varietal with notes of red fruits and rose. The Kir-Yianni winery is located on the western side of Greece’s Mount Vermion, with a rainy winter and a dry summer that gives this wine its aromatic intensity.
White | Santo Wines
The Aegean islands on this bottle’s label invoke the cave houses and jagged cliffs of Santorini, where this wine originates. A crisp, dry wine—similar in many ways to a Riesling—the Assyrtiko has a vibrant citrus and floral aroma that should pair well with the chilled octopus salad.
Ancient | Oenops Wines
Modern recreations of ancient wines have been trending on wine lists this year. A new generation of winemakers in Italy and Greece are taking advantage of centuries-old terroir to cultivate place-expressive wines. The Rawditis is an orange wine (a white wine that turns a deep orange hue when the grape skins and seeds are left in contact with the juice) from the Drama region of Macedonia. Tangerine zest and apricot aromas introduce a harmonious palate and fruity finish that is likely to complement Souvla’s feta-brined rotisserie chicken.
2505 3rd St., San Francisco