Meet Megan O'Keeffe, everyone!

The year is starting strong with another amazing woman joining the ranks as a boss! Megan is our newest Sous Chef and it's time to introduce her properly...

Megan to the left LOLing!

Megan to the left LOLing!

Q: Where are you from?

A: Born and raised in Southern California and until about two years ago I lived in San Diego. I came to the Bay Area because my brother has lived here for the last ten years and has been twisting my arm the entire time to move up.

Q: What did you want to be when you were 12 years old?

A: I wish I could say cooking but I remember wanting to be a marine biologist or train horses. I was heavy into horses and couldn't imagine living without them, but what 12 year old girl isn't? I also remember baking pumpkin pies with my Mom when I was 5, standing on a step stool with a wooden spoon and bowl. I know that experience had a large influence on me, perhaps more than I knew at the time.

Q: What's your favorite animal or spirit animal?

A: I'd be lying if I said I didn't have a soft spot in my heart for horses but dogs may take number one. I don't go too ga-ga for babies but if I see a dog, my inner dialogue immediately changes to something along the lines of baby talk.

Q: Destination on your bucket list?

A: As of right now the next place I want to visit is Europe- France in particular. But true bucket list destination? I would have to say Thailand. White sandy beaches, coconut soup and crystal clear water sounds dreamy.

Q: What is your greatest or biggest Fear?

A: Being the hopeless romantic that I am, I would say never finding 'the one'.

Q: Any goals or lessons that stick out from Waterbar?

A: I learn something every single day form Waterbar- I've never worked somewhere where that's the case, it's amazing. I love it. The biggest lesson that I've learned and one thing I still have to work on is understanding. It takes so many people so much time and effort to make the wheels turn, understanding is vital. I few of my mentors have so much patience and understanding, I couldn't be in a better position to learn and grow to be a stronger leader.


That's a wrap!!!! Megan, you're the best!




Welcome, Jensen Bogan, everyone

Say hello to Jensen. The newly graduated, wine loving floor manager at Waterbar.


Q: Where are you from?

A: San Diego, California

Q: What did you want to be when you grew up at the age of 12?

A: A veterinarian. I love animals! If there is a dog on Waterbar's patio there is a 99% chance I will offer it a dog treat made by our pastry team. 

Q: What's your favorite or Spirit animal?

A: A corgi.

Q: What's the next destination on your bucket list?

A: The next trip I would like to check off the list is a road trip through the fjords of Norway.

Q: What's your biggest fear?

A: The dark.

Q: What's a goal you have or a lesson you've learned at Waterbar?

A: The goal I am currently working towards is getting my Level 1 Sommelier Certification.  I am thankful to have many great, knowledgeable and patient mentors here at Waterbar willing to teach me all about the world of wine!


Thanks Jensen!!



Meet Instagram Carlo...

He has over 10,000 posts on Instagram. It's kind of a big deal. We here at Waterbar haven't introduced our newest team members properly. Carlo started first so we'll start with him. The questions have changed a little too, and we're excited to get to know these characters a little better too. Here it goes!

Q: Where are you from?

A: Born in San Francisco, raised in the Peninsula. I went to Serra HS and graduated from San Jose State.

Q: What did you want to be when you grew up when you were 12?

A: The dream was to be a baseball player for the San Francisco Giants. I played baseball all throughout my childhood, until I was injured at 17. I was really competitive: made every all-star team, MVP, all that stuff. I was good, if I do say so myself. But, when I was 17 I tore my rotator cuff and I had to stop playing for 6 months. As a pitcher, it was the end. I never got my velocity/speed back, even when I throw now it feels so unnatural. Makes me sad still but c'est la vie and look where I am now! In San Francisco at Waterbar. At least I'm close to AT&T Park!

Q: What's your favorite animal- or spirit animal?

A:Otters are my favorite animal. So much so that I have a keychain with otters on it. I went to the Wild About Otters exhibit at the Monterey Bay Aquarium last year. I love otters so much my cousins and I call ourselves the otters. It's weird. I know. We even have a competition with each other called the Otterthon. It's a all around competition ranging from pool, basketball, bowling, ping pong, monopoly, skeeball, whatever we can compete with. I want to win. Badly.

Q: What's a destination on your bucket list?

A: Some people travel for old buildings or food. I don't, I travel for sports. My bucket list is to go to Tokyo, Japan and watch the Tokyo Giants play baseball in the Tokyo Dome. I've heard the fans there put us to shame. The cheers and chants are crazy and the vibe is like nothing else. I would love to be a part of that.

Q: What's your greatest/biggest fear?

A: Dying alone.

Q: What's a goal you have or lesson you've learned at Waterbar?

A: Communication. Where I came from was very different than Waterbar. It was kind of a one-man show. I ran all the nights by myself, every night- no other managers there with me. It was overwhelming at times but I learned a lot about myself and how I could handle anything. The lessons were non stop but so was the fun. Here, working with such a diverse team, communication is key and I'm learning that everyday. 

Thanks for playing Carlo! You're the best!



The Masumoto Farm & Family 2017!

Another summer, another peach and nectarine harvest with our favorite farmers,

The Masumoto Family!! 

Waterbar and the Masumoto Family Farm have been working together for quite some time now. We adopted our trees over eight years ago and have gone up to harvest them every year, we are "The Mighty Waterbar "! Eric Hyman our Purchasing Manager along with Mas, Marcy, Nikiko and Korio have cultivated an awesome relationship. This year was special- one of our most dedicated and long standing servers Yetem and her sweet family of three went to Fresno, California last weekend and picked their little hearts out. The Masumoto's as always were gracious and enjoyed it every bit as much as Classic, Ethan and Yetem. She shared her pictures and from the looks of it, fun was had by all!



Taste of Potrero in Pictures

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!



Oyster Giveback-Spring 2017

Waterbar welcomes the newest member of our Oyster GiveBack club;

Our Oyster GiveBack Campaign is going strong and as we welcome Spring with open arms we also greet our newest beneficiary with enthusiasm. 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 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 to the Oyster Giveback family.....



Easter Brunch 2017

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. 

Choose One

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

Choose One

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

Choose One

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 Success

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.



A few Words

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 wines with more upfront fruit flavors of apples, peaches and nectarines with long lingering mineral 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.
-Steve Izzo

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

Rhubarb Pie
St. Germain, elderflower crème
2014 Inniskillin Riesling Icewine, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario,Canada



Wrye on Rye

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.



Waterbar's Shellfish Bisque Recipe

Some of your ingredients for the shellfish bisque.... crab and clams

Some of your ingredients for the shellfish bisque.... crab and clams

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!

Shellfish Bisque


  1. 1 quart -Shellfish Shells ( shrimp, clams, lobster, crab, etc.)
  2. 2 each- yellow onions, roughly chopped
  3. 2 each- carrots, roughly shopped
  4. 2 stalks- celery, roughly chopped
  5. 8 ounces- tomatoes, canned whole
  6. 1 bottle- white wine (Sauvignon Blanc)
  7. 8 ounces- butter, unsalted
  8. 2 cups- AP flour
  9. 2 quarts- shellfish stock
  10. 1 quart- heavy cream
  11. 1 cup- cognac
  12. 1/2 bunch- tarragon
  13. 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.




Gingerbread 2016 : Ode to the Ferry Building

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!!!