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Food With a View


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Epic Roasthouse

Photograph by Angie Silvy Photography

In the Bay Area, it’s tempting to choose a restaurant for its waterfront location. But, with a few exceptions, the food doesn’t live up to the views. Enter Pat Kuleto, the designer behind Boulevard, Jardinière, Postrio, and Martini House. Kuleto has spent the last few years renovating Nick’s Cove, a resort on Tomales Bay, and building two restaurants side by side on San Francisco’s Embarcadero: Waterbar and Epic Roasthouse.

Waterbar specializes in seafood, and the dramatic interior includes floor-to-ceiling circular aquariums, an abundant raw bar, and plush circular booths. Kuleto says it’s “Monterey Bay Aquarium meets Tadich Grill.” Mark Franz and Parke Ulrich from Farallon designed the menu, which features scrumptious crudos and salads, and simple treatments of fresh fish and shellfish. Emily Luchetti oversees the dessert menu.

Epic Roasthouse has an open kitchen of epic proportions complete with custom-built wood-fired grill, wood-burning oven, and fireplace. Chef Jan Birnbaum, formerly of Campton Place, designed the menu, which features well-sourced meats and poultry, from a thick pork chop in a tomato-and-coffee-spiked cowboy sauce, to tender chicken, its skin dressed in herbs and cooked to ultimate crispness.

With food this divine, the view of the Bay has certainly met its match. When you look out the window, you’ll notice you’re just feet from the rocky shore, with the Bay Bridge spanning out dramatically overhead. The combo is a recipe for success. As Kuleto says, “I don’t believe people fall in love with formulas; they fall in love with inspiration and originality.”

Waterbar, 399 Embarcadero, San Francisco, (415) 284-9922, www.waterbarsf.com. Epic Roasthouse, 369 Embarcadero, San Francisco, (415) 369-9955, www.epicroasthousesf.com

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