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San Francisco's Kristian Cosentino to open Mountain View wine bar

Uploaded: Feb 14, 2018
The owner of two San Francisco cocktail bars is expanding to the Midpeninsula, with plans to open a wine bar on Mountain View's Castro Street.

Kristian Cosentino, who owns Dirty Water and The Rusted Mule in San Francisco, confirmed he has taken over 331 Castro St., which was recently vacated by bakery La Panotiq.

An exterior rendering of wine bar Le Plonc, which is set to open soon in downtown Mountain View. Image courtesy Kristian Cosentino.

Cosentino's goal for what will be the first of several Le Plonc locations is to serve high-quality wines at affordable prices, he said Monday. The bar will serve 12 wines by the glass at $7 each. As the owner of multiple bars, Cosentino said he's able to negotiate better prices for quality, unusual wines.

"The bigger that my scope gets and my purchasing ability gets, the better price I can get wine for," Cosentino said. "The whole purpose of this is undercharging and over-delivering."

The wine list will be international, but "it doesn't matter where it comes from; we're just trying to pick the best juice we can and then back into the price point," he said.

There will also be some wines available by the bottle.

For food, look for small bites like charcuterie, cheese, quail and foie gras. Le Plonc will be open for lunch and dinner.

The wine bar is named after a derogatory slang word for cheap wine, used years ago by a customer at a wine bar Cosentino was working at. He made the ironic addition of the French "le."

Cosentino is also working to open two other Le Plonc outposts in San Francisco and a third in an undisclosed location.

Cosentino, who moved to San Francisco from Texas 17 years ago, was drawn in part to Mountain View by a longtime friendship with Jarad Gallagher, the executive chef at Chez TJ. The two met while working for Chalet Restaurant Group a decade ago and have kept in touch ever since. (Gallagher helped design the opening menu for Dirty Water, Cosentino said.)

After moving to San Francisco, Cosentino worked as general manager for wine bar and lounge The Press Club before opening Dirty Water in 2015 and The Rusted Mule in 2017. Dirty Water has more than 100 hundred hand-selected wines by the glass or bottle, more than 50 beers on a short-line tap, dozens of small batch spirits and a food menu that reflects Cosentino's Texan and Californian connections, per its website. The Rusted Mule focuses on the mule cocktail family (the best-known member being the Moscow Mule with vodka, ginger beer and lime).

Cosentino hopes to open in Mountain View in three weeks.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by WINEFAN, a resident of Cuesta Park,
on Feb 16, 2018 at 4:46 pm

Wonderful news! There is clearly a market for some more wine themed places and I look forward to the opening of this new venue.

It would be nice if they could take the opportunity to expand a bit on the wine theme and offer wine tastings. It seems to me this is a niche that is underexplored in the area...

Posted by member, a resident of Old Mountain View,
on Feb 18, 2018 at 3:36 pm

Disappointed that it's serving foie gras. Hopefully more responsible and vegetarian selections will be available.

Posted by Eater, a resident of Mountain View,
on Feb 18, 2018 at 6:52 pm

"member," you seem over-eager to be disappointed: the new place is still weeks from opening, so "it's serving" nothing yet, and won't be for some time.

Foie gras became an easy target for militant vegan activists (like now-disgraced Wayne Pacelle) to exploit as a rallying and fund-raising gimmick, spreading anxiety among well-meaning but uniformed people usually unaware of the entire subject until they saw these groups' demagoguery, which they accepted uncritically. Consequently, such people remained firmly unaware that (1) waterfowl produce foie gras [meaning simply fat livers] seasonally in nature as an energy-storage mechanism for long flight; it can be obtained from wild birds. (2) Duck farms raising foie-gras birds do not require "force" feeding, already illegal anyway in the US long, long before most Americans ever saw propaganda photos of such practices, which never disclosed this US illegality, or that the photos were from other countries, or that most birds feed their young by direct injection down the throat anyway (waterfowl, which swallow whole fish, are especially adapted to it), or that in humane foie farms the birds eagerly welcome feeding! Yet you never, NEVER see the photos of the ducks at US farms clamoring for their feeding sessions when the feeder appears. (3) In gov't statistics, US foie-gras poultry have *lower* mortality rates than other poultry, they're far better cared for than the mass-market chickens in the sandwiches many people consume even as they bemoan what they've been told is foie-gras "cruelty."

Fortunately the irrational, agenda- and fund-raising-driven hysteria over this topic is receding, though public misconceptions persist. "Responsible" people seriously concerned about farm-animal welfare will rationally focus first on the widespread abuses of mainstream poultry and cattle (have you ever taken a drive south on Interstate 5 and observed the unnerving CAFO Web Link east of the highway?) instead of complaining, based on misinformation, about a tiny-volume niche product that occurs naturally and that many people aren't interested in anyway.

Posted by Alcohol dispensary, a resident of Adobe-Meadow,
on Feb 20, 2018 at 9:51 am

Alcohol users: Please do not drink and drive. People are literally dying daily from alcohol related incidents on and off the road.

Posted by Ol' Homeboy, a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park,
on Feb 20, 2018 at 3:17 pm

Thank you for your concise explanation regarding the misconceptions associated with Foie gras in the U.S.
It is perhaps the most enlightening response I have ever read in the Almanac Forum. Kudos.

Posted by charles reilly , a resident of another community,
on Feb 27, 2018 at 7:58 pm

100% agree with Winefan. Some people are confused - wine bars are for socializing NOT winetasting. They're a great, grown-up alternative to coffee houses as a place to meet and converse. Thank you, Elena, for posting!

PS as a business model, wine bars can be tricky. Owners must experiment and "think outside the box" to find popular food dishes that are appealing to local palates. Duck livers rarely fit that spec.

Posted by Eater, a resident of Mountain View,
on Mar 19, 2018 at 2:16 pm

. . . and it's open for business today.

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