I have now taken two trips to the Ferry Building Marketplace at the foot of Market street. It is still a work in progress. Going now really only gives you a sneak peek at what it will be like when it's completed. By completed I mean "once all the tenants have moved in". Much like Faneuil Hall or Pike Place Market, it has been designed to serve as a showcase for the fresh food provisioners of Northern California with produce, meat, cheese, bread, wine, olive oil and specialty products like kitchenware, books, coffee and tea.
First off the building is almost breathtakingly beautiful. Inside is a dramatic indoor street called the Nave. There are dozens of shops that line the "street" of the Nave, also two market halls where there will be restaurants and cafes, and open air arcades outside facing the city. On the flip side there are plazas that face the bay and attach to the ferry terminal. This is the best description I could find from the web site:
"historic marble mosaic floor, buff brick and terra cotta arches, monumental clathri and clerestory windows, and steel arched trusses, all topped by a 660-foot long skylight flooding the space with natural light"
The details simply have to be seen to be appreciated. Go. See. Appreciate.
Ferry Building Marketplace
Of the existing tenants I give especially high marks to the Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant. They have a lovely wine bar where you can relax, taste and enjoy some wine and watch the market activity. I tried a couple of wines and was positively smitten with the 2002 Josef Leitz Rudesheimer Drachenstein Riesling. In English it is called "dragonstone". It's a fruity yet balanced, piquant, and intense wine that is wonderful on its own but would also compliment a spicy Asian meal. Perfectly drinkable now but also recommended as a wine worth holding for 7-10 years. For me anyway, finding a wonderful and reasonably priced wine is almost as delicious as drinking the wine itself.