Whether for a business meeting or to board a cable car so as to later swing off the side singing a jaunty Cole Porter tune, you're sometimes forced into the black, black heart of SF tourism: Union Square. For a respite from the madness, try Bar Norcini.
On the ground floor of the new Villa Florence, BN's a duck-in-able Italian wine bar with room for 24 patrons to tranquilly take in the Powell St crush behind floor-to-ceiling glass -- high opportunity for humor, until you realize that hysterical fat woman is your mom out shopping for a smart pant suit. The polished marble bar's encircled with wood/wicker highchairs, while the remainder of the space sports 2-4 tops, where you'll be served fresh salads, panini, and Kuleto's supplied house-cured chacuterie (cured = treatment for "beingalivingpig-itis"). As for beverages: BN's painstakingly curated a list of 33 Italian red/white/bubblies (hailing from Piedmont to Sardinia), and abetted it with select bottled beers and a bevy of cocktails like the nocino/Knob Creek "Cosa Nostra" and the gin/veloce/blood orange Vesuvius -- don't drink too many, or archeologists will one day discover you sitting in the exact same position, still trying to emit a 2000-year-old scream.
Show up early, and Norcini offers a selection of muffins, croissants, and scones, to give you valuable energy for a big day of heated negotiations and merry renditions of "My Heart Belongs to Daddy".