Brunch at Waterbar in San Francisco

by foodhoe on June 25, 2012

399 The Embarcadero, SF, CA 94105 | 415.284.9922 | reservations | website

It’s high time that we talked about brunch that I enjoyed at Waterbar earlier this year, which happens to be located on the other side of Epic Roasthouse.  The two adjacent restaurants both offer waterfront dining with magnificent views and outside seating which you really must take advantage of if the weather permits.  We visited on a beautiful sunny day, although chilly (it was February after all) so we decided to sit outside since they have overhead heaters.  Mr. K and I met my friend and fellow food blogger Ben from Focus:Snap:Eat to check out Waterbar during Dine About Town, because it’s a great time to enjoy a value priced meal at a notoriously spendy restaurant – a 2 course lunch for $17.95! You can read his post here.

Besides the breathtaking views, the interior is quite stunning with dramatic floor-to-ceiling circular aquariums filled with local fish and marine life, and a wall of brightly lit fish tanks that display the fresh catches of the day.  Of course the menu features the freshest sustainable seafood available!  I read somewhere that the two restaurants cost over $20 million to build, hence the pricey menu… Both were designed by Pat Kuleto, whose empire includes Farallon (which is one of my favorites just because of the whimsical design), Boulevard, Fog City Diner, Jardiniere to name a few.  The Executive Chef Parker Ulrich graduated from the Culinary Institute in NY, studied French classic cuisine at Le Bec Fin in Philadelphia, then came to appreciate the Bay Area’s focus on seasonal cooking and the bounty of fresh, local ingredients when he moved west to the Lark Creek Inn, then later accepted a position at Farallon in SF.   The open kitchen invites you to peek over the counter.

We began with some oysters on the half shell ($2.75 ea) after we saw a couple of monster seafood platters pass by.  They were crisp and briny and served with a classic mignonette and fresh lemon wedges.

The Dine About Town menu was for a two-course lunch ($17.95), so we felt free to supplement and ordered a Ceviche to share.  Mr. K and I liked it, it was bright and flavorful and drenched with something like a vinaigrette that added some citrus flair.

I loved the Broccoli Soup with lemon oil and chives, it was deeply flavorful and satisfying but it got cold very quickly in the chill air, so we had to rush through this dish.

The entree was Seared Sea Scallops served over Israeli couscous and drizzled with a light blood orange sauce and garnished with pungent tendrils of dill.  I loved the chewy texture of the couscous, which became infused with the juices from the scallops and accompanying sauce.

I took a picture of the Ultimate Ketel One Bloody Mary ($20) at the table next to us, you can’t really see it, but there were at least two pieces of smoked bacon stuck in with the jumbo gulf prawn garnish… it looked good and spicy.

I can see why their $1 oyster happy hours (daily from 11:30-6 pm, good lord that’s more like a happy day) are so popular – delicious fresh oysters enjoyed with a refreshing beverage and that incomparable view, for affordable prices….

Waterbar on Urbanspoon

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Rosa June 25, 2012 at 2:40 pm

Lovely food! The Ceviche looks delicious.




Cookie June 25, 2012 at 3:27 pm

Ok can I just have like 10 of those Ultimate Bloody Marys for lunch? Thanks! 🙂


Kirk June 26, 2012 at 4:10 pm

Nice deal FH! I could use one of those Bloody Mary’s right about now…..


Ben @Focus:Snap:Eat June 30, 2012 at 9:21 am

Awww, the memories! 😉 I have to say, the tables around us not ordering the Dine ABout Town menu seemed to do better. I’m still thinking of that massive seafood platter and that bloody mary. This is a better plate for happy hour and the view than spending the money for a full dinner.


Margaret Sjostrand October 13, 2017 at 6:11 pm

I called to find out about your lunch menu on Sundays. I was told there is a special brunch menu available on line. As yet, I cannot find it. Could you email it to me. I would like to invite some friends for this Sunday, the 15th of October.


Margaret Sjostrand


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