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Walnut Creek Magazine

Wilder is the Marina's Newest Hot Spot

Aug 19, 2021 12:46PM ● By Fran Miller

The intersection of Fillmore and Greenwich in San Francisco’s Marina District has always been a happening spot. Anchored by the iconic Balboa Café, the other two corners have seen establishments come and go throughout the years. No matter the venues, the ‘triangle’ has held court as one of the city’s most vibrant hospitality regions, and its newest offering – Wilder – will likely ensure that it remains so.  

Opened in the former Cow Marlowe location, Wilder is a new concept from Proof Partners, the team behind the popular country western destination WestwoodProof Partners co-founders Kingston Wu and Lily Peng have created Wilder to satisfy varied cravings of with internationally-inspired, chef-driven seasonal share plates, inventive takes on classic cocktails, and a hip atmosphere. Daily Specials such as Wineboard Wednesdays (a bottle of wine and charcuterie board for $40), ‘Tini Thursdays (Well ‘Tinis for $8 and premium for $12) and Oysters Wild Fridays (4 – 7pm Happy Hour $1 oysters) are popular among locals.

"During the pandemic, we made multiple shifts to keep our business alive and our team together," says Wu, a decade-long restaurant investor who has previously capitalized Brixton on Union, Horsefeather, Last Rites, Willkommen, Rambler, and Copper Spono in Oakland. "We took over this fantastic space in the Marina Triangle, expanded the outdoor seating on the corner, and fine-tuned the menu and décor.” The ‘Tahoe Chic’ vibe includes antler horns, an antler chandelier, and an enchanting wall of flowers. 

Wu and Peng tapped Jesus Dominguez as executive chef who opened and operated restaurants such as Delfino, Americano, Spork, and most recently, Michelin-starred Taj Campton Place. His menu at Wilder includes a delicious small plates like Pan Seared Salmon Poke with fresh avocado, Steamed Pork Belly Buns ($12) with 5-hour slow-roasted pork belly, jalapenos relish, and chipotle mayo, and Bone Marrow ($19) with roasted Roma and cherry tomatoes, horseradish cream, and  sourdough toast. 

Herbivore offerings include a Charred Caesar Salad ($15) with romaine, endive, radish, cherry tomatoes, pretzel croutons, and parmesan, and a Summer Watermelon Salad. Carnivores won’t want to miss the Pork Chop & Apple Sauce ($29) with mashed potatoes, chef’s apple sauce, pomegranate reduction, and watercress salad, or the Seven-hour Braised Short Ribs and Grits ($23) with grilled rapini, horseradish cream, fried shallots, and balsamic reduction.

Pork Chop & Apple Sauce

Other standouts include Steak and Chimichurri ($28): 10 oz Harris Ranch NY steak, patatas bravas, cippolini onions, and chef's chimichurri relish; Cajun Curry Tiger Shrimp ($19) with potatoes, shitake mushrooms, carrots, and peas; and French-style and Spanish Chorizo PEI Mussels ($21). 

The Smokey George

Craft cocktails perfectly accompany the food, especially the Smoky George with oak-smoked Buffalo Trace, Sazerac rye, sweet vermouth, gin, and Campari, and the El Chupacabra with habanero infused tequila, aloe, lime, and agave. Pitchers of sangria along with well-priced beer, cider, and Rombauer Chardonnay at $16/glass.  

3154 Fillmore Street, San Francisco: 415.741.6605. 

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