Has anyone been or heard about Forbes Island? It sounds like a blast and I want to go.
yeah, I've heard of this place but don't know anyone who has made the trip out there. has anybody out there been?
Yes, after reading an article in Sunset magazine about it (as well as Foreign Cinema on Mission), several friends an I ventured out to the island for dinner. The deciding factor to make the trip was that the executive chef was formerly at the head post in the kitchen of the Sonoma Mission Inn Grille. Despite the small facilities, Scott has managed to carry over some of his signature dishes including a wonderful rack of lamb. Forbes himself picks you up at the Pier 39 dock and runs diners over in an enclosed motor launch. He is very friendly and highly informative. The island itself is quite impressive and while offering a healthy dose of kitsch, is not touristy or tacky. The lighthouse is offers a great view back at the lights of the city. The dining room is below deck and as it is protected by the marina seawall, there is no undue rocking or rolling. However, I will give this caveat that if any of your guests are claustrophobic, it's best to warn them that you will be underwater and that the portholes are small. Otherwise, the main dining room and the bar are cozy and the enclosed fireplace provides a warm glow to the entire place. The menu is not extensive, but is varied and emphasizes roast and grilled meats and seafood. The prices for entrees are in the $20-28$ range. I had the aforementioned rosemary encrusted rack of lamb and thoroughly enjoyed it with a bottle of '97 Acacia Pinot Noir which our table selected from the modest wine list. Ile Flotant made a fitting dessert and was true to the traditional recipe. Overall, I can recommend Forbes' Island as a destination restaurant. Its combination of food and ambience makes it a good choice for couples.
Some friends took over Forbes Island for a party for 50 or so. It's a great destination restaurant, with a unique atmosphere, a fine bar, good food and a credible wine list. I'd definitely recommend it. Note that you get there by motor launch, which takes you about 100 yds across the yacht harbor. It can get a little chilly standing by the side of the dock waiting for the launch, so bring a coat!