It was our pleasure to participate in this years Taste of Potrero. Benefiting our partner Daniel Webster Elementary, this event was fun and inspiring. What better way to raise money for a local school than get the best restaurants and bars of San Francisco together and share in the love of food, wine, drinks and education. Cheers to the future!
Waterbar welcomes the newest member of our Oyster GiveBack club; bay.org.
Our Oyster GiveBack Campaign is going strong and as we welcome Spring with open arms we also greet our newest beneficiary bay.org with enthusiasm. Bay.org is an umbrella organization that fosters and supports anything and everything having to do with the sea and its sustained health. With Aquarium of the Bay, The Bay Institute, Sea Lion Center, EcoCenter, Bay Model Alliance and GoPlaces we think Bay.org has it covered.
As of April 1st, we have raised $86,455 for local and national organizations that share in our love of planet and community. So, every time you order an oyster, just think you are doing something good and giving back. THANK YOU!
Below we have General Manager Rich welcoming Bay.org to the Oyster Giveback family.....
Happy Easter from Waterbar
Hard to believe, but it is the first day of Spring! With Spring comes Easter and our brunch menu is something to behold. For $55 per person you have options for each course and a dessert menu that will make not getting dessert impossible.
Mixed Baby Greens - housemade focaccia toast, goat cheese, meyer lemon marmalade, sunflower seeds
Ahi Tuna Crudo - avocado mousse, spiced cashews, keffir lime
Local Asparagus & Slow Cooked Egg - crispy parmesan, bacon, perigord truffle
Warm Halibut Brandade - easter egg radishes, fava beans, toasted baguette
Twice-Cooked Pork Belly - anson mills grits, bourbon poached cherries
Anchor Steam Battered Rock Cod Sandwich - red sauerkraut, housemade ham, fried egg, dill pickles, old bay chips
American Caviar Scramble - fromage blanc, toasted brioche, chives
Smoked Tri-Tip Loco Moco - gochujang fried rice, sunnyside up eggs, foie gras gravy
Grilled Mahi Mahi Salad - butter lettuce, dungeness crab aÏoli, english pea pesto, tarragon
Soft Poached Eggs - spring onion drop biscuit, gulf shrimp, miso brown butter hollandaise
Lavender Panna Cotta - strawberries, mint, meyer lemon shortbread
Cardamom Phyllo Nest - ricotta fritter, pistachio ice cream, orange blossom sorbet
Angel Food Cake - candied fennel, grand marnier, orange confit
Cocoanib Brawd Pudding - salted caramel ice cream, frangelico, candied hazelnuts
Coconut Crème Brûlée - kiwi sorbet, mango, citrus tuile
Riesling Prix Fixe 2017
If you couldn't tell how much fun we had with the Riesling Tasting menu we did at the beginning of the month, you have been missing out. The menu was inspired, the wine perfection, and our team excited by the enthusiasm of our guests.
Our Beverage Director Steve spoke about it, and Chef Justin plated some beautiful food and we're happy to share, again. can't wait for the next adventure, and with Spring and Summer on the way? It's only going to get better. Until then, enjoy the memories and try not to drool too much.
We here at Waterbar have been inspired as of late. From our last Wrye on Rye event to Valentine's Day, our menus have been both dynamic and tasty. With Spring just around the corner we thought we'd add some fun with a Riesling inspired tasting menu. For $110 per person, Waterbar is hosting a four course prix fixe menu with wines from the most prestigious Riesling regions in the world.
Our Beverage Director Steve Izzo has some words to share ~
The gleaming facets of Riesling...
Where does one begin to tell the tale of Riesling? Perhaps we should begin in the Rhine region of Germany , the ancestral home of the variety, with written references reaching as far back as the 15th century. Though some would argue that the story of Riesling starts with the advance of the Roman Empire, and the spread of the vine a millennium or so previous to any written reference in Germany. Regardless of where one begins the point is that Riesling and its resulting wines have been prized throughout history. The reach of Riesling vines has spread to neighboring countries in Western Europe, and as far afield as New World plantings in North America and Australia. today Riesling continues to be a favorite amongst wine professionals and has taken an upward turn in global popularity as well.
Riesling is arguably the most versatile wine for matching with food. They are compellingly aromatic and strike a sublime balance between complex flavors and refreshingly bright acidity. Riesling has a broad spectrum of expressions: from crisp, clean, citrusy, bone dry styles...to wines with more upfront fruit flavors of apples, peaches and nectarines with long lingering mineral finishes...to the noble dessert styles that are deeply honeyed and yet retain elegance, vibrancy and tension. Rieslings can age gracefully for decades taking on more amber hues and the distinctive perfume of petrol laden hazelnuts mixed with quince jam and dried figs. Great Riesling is a window into the place and time from where it originates, telling a delicious story written in soil, sunlight and tradition.
Riesling Menu 2017
Spanish Red Prawn Ceviche
hibiscus cucumber, coconut "leche de tigre", aji amarillo, popcorn
2014 Salomon Undhof "estate" Riesling, Kremstal, Austria
Tokyo Style Barbecued Scallop
crab custard, asparagus, crisp house cured ham
2014 Dönnhoff Riesling Sätles, Oberhäuser Brücke, Nahe Germany
Red Curry Braised Lamb Shoulder
grilled pea leaves, carolina gold rice, toasted peanuts
2013 Selbach-Oster Riesling Kabinett, Zeltinger Sonnenuhr, Mosel, Germany
St. Germain, elderflower crème
2014 Inniskillin Riesling Icewine, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario,Canada
Wrye on Rye, until next time!
Sometimes when we do special things it's fun to share in the experience. Wrye on Rye was just that. The night was filled with delicious small plates by Chef de Cuisine Justin Baade and exquisite flights created by our Lead Bartender Joe Wrye. The location, our upstairs bar, was perfection with the night sky and Bay Lights showing through our floor to ceiling windows and the company wasn't bad either. Check out the pictures and come and join us for our next event Riesling Week! Starts Tuesday, February 28th through Sunday, March 5th.
Today we're sharing our very own Shellfish Bisque recipe. We know the holidays can have the same menu all the time, but this might be a nice addition or change from your regular cheese plate starter or salad. Enjoy!
- 1 quart -Shellfish Shells ( shrimp, clams, lobster, crab, etc.)
- 2 each- yellow onions, roughly chopped
- 2 each- carrots, roughly shopped
- 2 stalks- celery, roughly chopped
- 8 ounces- tomatoes, canned whole
- 1 bottle- white wine (Sauvignon Blanc)
- 8 ounces- butter, unsalted
- 2 cups- AP flour
- 2 quarts- shellfish stock
- 1 quart- heavy cream
- 1 cup- cognac
- 1/2 bunch- tarragon
- 4 tablespoons- cooking oil
Season with salt to taste....
In a large pot (two gallon is best) toast the shellfish shells on low heat in the cooking oil until fragrant.
Next add the butter, onions, carrots, celery and sweat until translucent. At this point you can add a good pinch of salt to start layering your seasoning, but don't overdo it.
As soon as the liquid is gone and all that is left is the broken butter and oil, add your flour and toast until cooked. If it's under toasted, the bisque will taste gummy, over toasted and it will taste burnt.
Once it's cooked, add in the white wine and stir constantly scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon to keep from sticking and burning. Do this until it no longer smells like alcohol.
Next, add in the tomatoes, shellfish stock and cream. Continue stirring and scraping the bottom to keep the flour from sticking and burning ( don't scorch your bisque!)
Once it's at a simmer, season with a little more salt, add your tarragon and puree with an emersion blender. This will help with the flavor by breaking up a lot of the vegetables and shellfish. Strain through a fine strainer and season with cognac and salt to your liking.
SERVE AND ENJOY!
Holidays are Here!!!!
Every year our Pastry Chef Angela creates a gingerbread replica of something San Francisco. It started with a tribute to Candlestick Park in it's final year, followed by AT&T Park, then the Palace of Fine Arts and this year, her masterpiece: The Ferry Building of San Francisco with it's Tuesday Farmer's Market. This is truly amazing - a work of art and we couldn't be more proud. Chef Angela is calling it her swan song.....
Something this amazing you should come and see in person! We also wanted to share that Chef Angela did an interview for Martha Stewart Living explaining her inspirations and the time and energy it took to create. Check it out below along with the slideshow!
Chef Angela's Interview:
Q: Why did you decide to do the Ferry Building? What was your approach in creating it?
A: Each year I choose a San Francisco landmark, as the city is so full of them. We try and pick places that are newsy such as At&T Park after the Giant's World Series win in 2014 and Candlestick Park after the demolition ( we called it Candiestick Park). Last year was the Centennial of the Worlds Fair, so we constructed the Palace of Fine Arts. All along I've had my eye on the Ferry Building as it's a bustling scene and just a few blocks from Waterbar. Our chefs visit the Farmer's Market stands and most of us pass it everyday. I knew it would be a serious endeavor, so this year we were able to make it happen.
Q: What;s your favorite thing about working on these gingerbread structures for Waterbar every year?
A: I get a buzz out of the guests' reactions. But I also have a lot of fun trying to incorporate little fun, whimsical elements throughout the piece. It's fun hearing people take notice and spotting the extra details. This year, we incorporated a Pedi-Cab, which cycle down the Embarcadero daily. We have a little skateboarder, chefs shopping, etc. The national, state and city flags on top were made out of gumpaste which I painted with food coloring on the tip of a skewer. Each year, everyone talks about the big hotels and their gingerbread creations and it's been my goal to amke Waterbar one of those destinations.
Q: What was the hardest part about the process of building it? How long did it take?
A: This particular piece is our largest yet. So, collectively it took about 130 hours. From making the dough, baking, sketching blueprints, assembling and decorating. The hardest part is taking into consideration that we are dealing with gingerbread. It's a busy kitchen, so it's hard to find perfectly flat sheet pans. The pieces were limited to the size of our ovens and the sheet pans I could use. Additionally, the gingerbread warps slightly and the thickness affect the final fit. But at the end of the day, it's fun and the tiny imperfections are what prove it's homemade.
The final measurements for everything....
- 61 cups of flour (that's 18 punds!)
- 36 teaspoons cinnamon
- 16 teaspoons ginger
- 18 sticks of butter
- 13.5 cups corn syrup
- 11.5 cups brown sugar
- 18 pounds of powdered sugar
That's pretty impressive!!!
The holiday season is here, and with that, we thought why not introduce one of our team? You might have seen him in one of his signature colored shirts or smiling at the host stand, but here is his formal introduction, say hello to Shandel Story! The new father and Oakland resident answered our standard questions, so let's get to it.......
Q: Where are you from?
A: The Eastern foothills of the Rockies, Colorado.
Q: How'd you get into restaurants? What was the attraction?
A: I took up working for an old Sicilian (later to be my adopted grandpa) to pay for college, and I soon realized that being involved with this industry was what I loved. My professional fulfillment comes from being a participant in the deliverance of a special guest experience. I strive each and every day to give something profound or transformative to at least one person, or to make one significant personal connection.
Q: How long have you been at Waterbar?
A: Most of my waking hours for three years.
Q: What's been the biggest challenge doing what you do?
A: Adapting to the ever evolving public. That, and giving up all of this precious time that I could be collecting virtual Pokemon.
Q: What's your best memory here?
A: Oh, so many..... Picking peaches with my friends at the Masumoto Farm. Making dear friends with all of our wonderful guests. Watching the fireworks with my lovely wife and colleagues on the patio for the New Year's Eve celebration to name a few.
Q: What are you up to lately?
A: Raising my ten month old daughter, Stellena.
Q: Plans for the future?
A: Settle into a small town, open a small restaurant, and bring some big time, world class service to my new neighbors.
Q: What food/drink are you looking forward to working with this upcoming season?
A: My palate seems to have short term memory, because as each season approaches I find myself anxiously waiting for the first of the season's produce, as if I had never tasted it before. It's also a great pleasure working with such a well crafted and comprehensive beverage list as Steve Izzo's. Bottom line, the amazing cuisine from the very talented kitchen team is what brought me here, and I enjoy representing it almost as much as I enjoy eating it.
Waterbar is on FIRE!!
Recently everything has been coming up Waterbar. Pat Kuleto, our partner, designer and restaurateur extraordinaire was just given the Most Admired CEO from the San Francisco Business Times, our Managing Partner Pete Sittnick won the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Golden Gate Restaurant Association and Waterbar won for Best Small Business from the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce. Not everyone can say this, we are so lucky!
As we celebrate the Holiday season and especially after the week we've had, we would like to say a big THANK YOU to our community and city, San Francisco. We wouldn't be anything without the support of our neighbors, friends and other businesses throughout the city. We really can't believe it! Enjoy the season and know how much Waterbar appreciates you.
Every year we try and share in the spirit of the holiday with recipes from our amazing chefs. This year we're doing it again with a recipe from Chef Greg D'Alessandro. We're actually serving this dish as we speak with a seared Ling Cod - the balance is perfect for either meat or fish. Our Chefs are truly gifted.
So here it is, Chef Greg's Chestnut Bread Pudding Recipe!
Chestnut bread pudding: serves 8
- 6 loaves of brioche
- 6 eggs
- 1/2 quart heavy cream
- 1 T chopped thyme leaves
- 1/2 lb. roasted and peeled chestnuts
- 1 T soft butter
- 1/2 t salt
- 1/2 t ground pepper
- Combine the whole eggs and heavy cream together with a whisk to create a custard base
- Tear brioche into 3/4 in pieces and mix into the custard base
- Add chopped chestnuts and thyme to the custard along with salt and pepper
- Pre-grease a casserole dish with soft butter
- Place bread pudding in a casserole dish and bake at 350° in a convection oven for about 30 minutes
A good way to check and see if it's done is to place a toothpick in the center of the bread pudding, if it comes out clean, it's ready. Also note you can find ready to use chestnuts at most supermarkets.
To finish up 2016, we have picked our new Oyster Give Back beneficiary in correlation with National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. October is the beginning of the new quarter for Waterbar, and with that comes a new partner in sharing and spreading the love with our Oyster Give Back Campaign.
We combine causes from both land and sea when donating, and last quarter we were happy to have The Watershed Project back as our comrade. This quarter we welcome the Cancer Prevention Institute of California (CPIC). On average one in two of us will develop cancer in our lifetimes. This Bay Area non-profit research organization is dedicated to preventing cancer and to reducing its burden where it cannot yet be prevented.
Waterbar is proud to donate 5¢ for every oyster sold in support of these community organizations. We will also be part of the festivities at CPIC's annual fundraising event - DanceFAR ( For a Reason ). This is the premiere Bay Area dance troupe performance on November 29th at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. ( www.dancefar.org )
........ This is why we love what we do.