Waterbar- so lame.
dined here last night, Mother's day and was amazed at how bad this place was, on how many different levels. I happen to be very obviously 40+ weeks pregnant. I asked the waitress if the cured meat in one of the dishes was also then cooked to make it safe for pregnant women. She didn't how how it was prepared and went to ask the chef. His response was it is warmed up, but cured with salt so okay for pregnant women. Umm, so why does my doctor and every authority on the matter say that cured meats are not advised during pregnancy and for those with compromised immune systems? Come on, if you don't know what you are taking about, don't offer up dining advice that could end up killing my unborn baby on mother's day! Okay, maybe that's just my pregnancy hormones over-reacting. On to the food.
I decided to spurge on the most expensive app. thinking it must be great at these prices. Bone marrow with crab gratin and truffle glacage. What it turned out to be was an ill-conceived app of a split bone, crusted with mushed up crab, doused with truffle oil, jammed under the salamander for awhile, then served. The amount to truffle oil was offensive, and I wondered if anyone ever tasted the dish before putting it on the menu? The sardines some of ordered were overwhelmed by the burnt char on the skin, my husbands cerviche of bass with uni would have been good, if there had been more than one tiny piece of uni in it. The whole table at this point is thinking that not only is the place super expensive, but the food sucks. On to the entrees.
The server really talked up how great the whole fish were, so three split the triggerfish, on her advice. The menu says it serves three. So the entrees come out, and two guys have their hands full and try to give me the wrong dish, and I point out where it goes, then one of them returns to the kithcen, because he couldn't figure out who got what, we had to flag him back down to explain where to put the plate (we were used to the confusing, having seen it with the first course). A trio of sauces is put in front of me, with no explanation. Again I flag someone and ask what they are. One ,of course, is an an aioli and I ask if it has raw egg in it (remember I'm preggers? and voiced my food safety issues earlier?) and the waiter says "yeah, you know, like a mayo?" As if I'm a little stupid. Again, small point, but if they were in tune with our needs, they would not serve me something harmful to my health.
So we are about to dig in, but where is the third portion of the triggerfish, we were told to split three ways? One of us has no food and none of the service staff notices! We have to flag someone down, and they do not seem to think it is a big deal that one of our party of six has no food in front of them. They non-chalantly explain that they must have portioned the fish incorrectly (duh), and the fastest way to fix it, is to take away our plates and then divide the two plates into three and re-serve them. We explain that is stupid and unacceptable our food-less third just orders something else and sits and waits. The kicker is the serve comes back and explains that they used to serve that fish for two, and that's why they made the mistake. Did they think we cared about their dumb excuse? Back to the food-the split fish came with choice of sides, only one choice mind you. We went with the pea gratin. I just don't see how the kitchen felt that 2oz of starchy peas cooked in some cream would complement three or even two plates. At 98$ for the dish, they couldn't even give us some starch, or enough veg to round out the plate? Our entree was basically some fish on a plate. Again, did any body try this dish before deciding it was a good idea to put it on the menu and charge nearly 100$ for it?
So lame, on so many levels.
$98 for a whole fish that's supposed to serve three and includes one side dish is in line with the prices of Waterbar's other entrees.
It's not the restaurant's place to offer you dietary advice. If you want to avoid certain ingredients, you need to ask specifically. Though in the case of, for example, the speck in Waterbar's winter vegetable salad, by definition that's a raw smoked ham.
Opinions vary dramatically about what is and isn't healthy for pregnant women to eat, I don't think it's reasonable to expect the restaurant staff to know what your particular beliefs are. I was 40 weeks myself and ordered wine with dinner -- dagnabbit that kid was big enough to tolerate a little wine! I wanted him out! And I *didn't* want restaurant staff involving themselves in my decisions. I ordered what I wanted and I expected the staff to serve it to me.
In any event, I can't imagine how much fish I could buy for $98. That's kind of unbelievable.