About 4 years ago, restaurateur/designer Pat Kueleto and his partners opened the seafood-centric Waterbar, along with it’s sister steakhouse Epic Roasthouse next door. It was an ambitious bay-front project since both restaurants were built from the ground up with specific design elements in mind. The floor-to-ceiling windows that offer amazing bay views, a beautiful interior dominated by 2 large column aquariums, and the great sea fare by Co-Owner/Chef Mark Franz and Executive Chef Parke Ulrich all add up to make Waterbar a perennial top 100 restaurant in San Francisco.
We didn’t need to check out their Patiocam to view the weather conditions since we already knew it was a gorgeous day. We quickly made brunch reservations and headed there to see if we could take advantage of eating outdoors in the middle of winter. When we arrived, all of the seats in the patio were pretty much taken, and when our hostess offered us a window table, we were not at all disappointed with this Bay Bridge view:
During brunch, they offer a reasonably priced $20 bottle of Prosecco with some fresh-squeezed orange juice to make Mimosas:
Waterbar has an excellent oyster raw bar offering over a dozen different types of oysters to choose from. We have said it before, but the real reason we like to dine at Waterbar before 6 pm is for their daily $1 oyster specials. We ordered 2 dozen of their featured oyster for that day, Hammersley Inlet from South Puget Sound in Washington:
The plump and briny oysters were very tasty. A champagne vinegar mignonette is served with the oysters, but when requested, other typical accompaniments like Tabasco, cocktail sauce and horseradish are provided. The horseradish was pleasantly hot and spicy — a little dollop had nasal-clearing properties:
From the appetizers part of the menu, we ordered the Roasted Black Mussels from Prince Edward Island in Canada. It came with some crispy thick-cut bacon, an Anchor Steam based broth and topped with some shoestring potatoes. The mussels were plump and formed a perfect bite when consumed with a bit of bacon, broth and potatoes:
We shared the Fried Crab Stuffed Mississippi Catfish served with Sea Island red peas, spinach and a hot sauce aioli. This was a very Southern dish that we would never have expected to find at Waterbar:
It was a rather large entrée and was perfect for sharing. The catfish was very crisp and stuffed with a generous amount of dungeness crab:
On our way out after pur excellent brunch, we stopped by to say hello to Wolfie, the resident eel in one of the aquariums named after the famous Austrian Chef:
Waterbar is a great place for consistently great seafood. With the freshness and high quality of seafood, and taking into account their $1 oyster specials ($2 after 6 pm), it’s quite reasonable for brunch, especially with the spectacular views. It will be a great place to go for dinner after March 5 to catch the Bay Lights Sculpture, the Bay Bridge light show that will be on display for the next 2 years.