2323 Polk Street
San Francisco, CA 94109Neighborhood:
CalifornianPrice: $30 and under
- Dining Style: Casual Elegant
- Website: http://www.verbenarestaurant.com/
- Phone: (415) 441-2323
- Hours of Operation:
Dinner: Sunday to Tuesday 5:30pm-9:30pm
Wednesday to Saturday 5:30-10:00pm
Brunch: Saturday and Sunday 11am-2:00pm
- Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
- Cuisine: Californian
- Executive Chef: Sean Baker
- Dress Code: Casual Dress
- Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
- Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
A word from Verbena
Verbena brings a distinct culinary and beverage experience to the Russian Hill neighborhood of San Francisco. Executive Chef Sean Baker, also of Gather Restaurant in Berkeley, incorporates a balance of artisanal vegetable dishes and whole animal butchery. The inspiration for the menu draws from deep working relationships with farmers and ranchers who are extremely passionate about their craft. The bar sets the stage in the restaurant and features an innovative beverage program highlighting carefully crafted small batch spirits and wines.Continued
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Verbena reviews from OpenTable diners
189 reviews since July 31, 2014
- Ambiance4.2Noise LevelModerate
fit for foodies (142)neighborhood gem (108)special occasion (70)hot spot (50)romantic (47)notable wine list (47)vibrant bar scene (34)good for groups (33)great for brunch (24)great for outdoor dining (8)great for lunch (6)late-night find (5)kid-friendly (2)scenic view (2)Show More
- foodieVIPDined on 11/22/2014Good food, was expecting a bit more based on reviews.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Lives up to high expectationsBillVIPDined on 11/20/2014I was blown away by an appetizer when I first met Verbena's chef and owner in September at the Yolo Land Trust annual gathering in Clarksburg which attracts top restaurants from the Central Valley to the SF Bay Area to show the best they have to offer. I was not disappointed when I visited their Polk Street location in November when I wanted to showcase a special SF restaurant to a visiting friend from Europe. I was even more impressed when the General Manager greeted us with an updated version of the same appetizer that I had sampled at the YLT event in September. The food is fresh, seasonal, locally sourced, and delectable. The server was knowledgeable and attentive. I'll plan to come back before long.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- unobjectionableRobinWVIPDined on 11/16/2014Hadn't been to Russian Hill in a while and was looking forward to this, brought an out-of-town visitor. Disappointed: overpriced ($9 for three pieces of sprouted bread with a smear of goat cheese and onions? really?), cocktails read better than they tasted. My posole was okay -- interesting concept but I didn't detect any posole in it unless it was those weird crackers. Can't see this as a destination spot, maybe if I still lived nearby.Special Features:
- neighborhoodjemneighborhoodjemDined on 11/9/2014I love all the unusual, creative vegetable entrees. So many restaurants don' t pay attention to vegetables. Good wine pairings.good gluten free bread.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Excellent Place to dine! Must Go!JunnieDined on 11/9/2014Love this place, service is always excellent and of course the food.Special Features:
- Tasty food overshadowed by serviceLocalpolkDined on 11/6/2014First, the positives: beautifully reimigined space, warm lighting, great bar& strong wine list. Food: inventive and tasty. Strong suits were the meatballs, pork, crack&peel shrimp, and all vegetable preparations. Service: vast black holes of time 20-40 min) passed between wine and water and small plates without acknowledgement. (Yes, we tried the old fashioned waving of a hand.)Took 28 minutes for someone to first help us with water. When we were told "you should order your mains now - its really slow back there- trust me, you will thank me later" we about died. So professional... I'd return to the bar for a sip from the wine list and bite. But never ever again to the dining room. Ever. Though the story sure made for a lively walk home.Special Features:
- Best restaurant in SFMargeDined on 11/3/2014I LOVE Verbena. each dish is an absolute delight with unique approaches to amazing ingredients. I am not much of a fan of cocktails and yet each time I come here it is the first thing I order. cant wait to come back.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- AppetizerOpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 11/1/2014The appetizer list is too short, i thought. Since the food is amazingly good, adding a few more appetizers would be even better. Also, I wish there was no charge for the bread.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Creative and delicious!rkr727VIPDined on 11/1/2014Sharing plates so that everyone gets a taste does not fit every restaurant or dining experience, but here the food and ambience is justly matched for sharing. Perfect. The only flaw was a misdirect by the waiter but other than that, we all loved it.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Enjoyable eveningluv2dineDined on 10/30/2014First time dining at Verbena and found the entire staff very efficient and attentive. No waiting for table at time reserved.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- foodleVIPDined on 10/27/2014Delicous food and very helpful server. The only odd thing was the host seated us in between the only two parties seated along the wall - odd choice. it was ok though, since there weren't many people in the restaurant yet, except the 3 two-tops snuggled together, which made for easy eavesdropping on the couple next to us who were on an unfortunate tinder date. thank you. :)Special Features:
- Want to come backOlgaDined on 10/26/2014We had a brunch at Verbena. The brunch menu wasn't very long but offered some exciting options. Home-made bread was delicious, and corn pancakes were memorable, although I wish there was also a fresh-berry sauce to accompany them. My foodie partner was happy with the food, too. The wine list is very good with an interesting selection of European and US wines and even short descriptions of each winery. I could see that the owners/managers have given a lot of thought to every detail. The service was not only friendly but also felt personalized, without being overwhelming. We'd love to come back and explore the regular menu.Special Features:
- Leisurely brunchFoodieVIPDined on 10/25/2014No problems making a reservation for Saturday brunch, seated promptly. Very nice decor and my companion confirmed they have a great bar. We shared the sprouted bread with goat cheese and then ordered the mushroom kale frittata and fried egg and bacon sandwich, both of which were delicious. We didn't order drinks but our table water was always refilled and service was very good in general - always checking in but never intrusive. We were able to linger for a long time after finishing our food and paying. Very nice neighborhood spot, already thinking about coming back to try some of the other menu options.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great time at VerbenaFogandsunDined on 10/23/2014We were celebrating my boyfriend's birthday at Verbena. It was the right choice. Along with their beautiful interior we were enjoying every dish we had which was served for us as a family style. I will come back again!Special Features:
- Unique and creative menuStylist1011Dined on 10/21/2014Among the 8 dishes we ordered, the shrimp scampi was a hit. Very flavorful and moist. Second best for me was the beet pasta. Beautiful color and perfectly cooked. Very interesting and delicious flavor. I'd love to go back and try eight different dishes. Side note: I didn't order from the cocktail list and asked for a sidecar. It was one of the best drinks I've ever tasted. Very skilled mixologist!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Cozy placeCocoaDined on 10/17/2014We liked the ambience. Some dishes were more refined than others.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Wonderful! (As always)TTSFVIPDined on 10/16/2014We came here to celebrate our friend's engagement... What a wonderful evening! As always, the staff was warm and incredibly hospitable, and made our celebration even more special. We ordered just about everything - the standouts - the frying peppers, little gems, pork cheeks, and grilled chicken. SO good. And be sure to take the staff's recommendations about wine - they are fantastic at suggesting options that complement the meal and meet your price point. We'll be back (again)!Special Features:
- My new favorite restauant in sfMargeDined on 10/15/2014I came here with some foodie colleagues from out of town. Our meal was just stunning. All dishes were unique and perfectly crafted. I loved the wide range of flavores and ingredients. Our cocktails were some of the very best I have had and service was immaculate. I will be back as often as possible.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great flavors, off portionsOpenTable Diner Since 2001VIPDined on 10/14/2014Amazingly flavorful and different food. Squash dish with integrated rising heat was a favorite. Beets and apples showcased the ingredients. Wonderful wine list if you know your local stuff. We ordered the cured pork but it never came, no explanation. We had the spaghetti and the pork loin for mains. The flavors were truly spot on, especially the interior smoke on the pork. However, I was truly embarrassed for the restaurant at the portion sizes of the mains. Two paper thin pieces of pork and 4 bites of pasta for $28 and $19 respectively. We are not big eaters, but this was shameful. Closed with a wonderful cocktail from the bar. Service was spotty due to the umber of people helping us. This guy can cook, but even we needed more.Special Features:
- Odd but delicious menuLunaTekDined on 10/14/2014Odd? No tired 'standards' - everything new or twist. Menu divided into smalls/larges not appetizers/entries, so a bit confusing how much to order. Our vegetarian smalls were surprisingly large/filling and meat smalls were closer to appetizer size. Delicious? Oh yeah! Loved the small squash and small meatballs; friend enjoyed small artichoke and small tuna. Surprisingly spicy for California cuisine. Good heat, but still had nice balance of richness/textures/flavors in all the dishes we had. Can't wait to eat there again. Tips? The sprouted seed bread isn't really bread - more like seed bars. Not unpleasant, but not bread. More like an appetizer. Nice bar seating. Why not 5 stars? A little pricey-if you're budgeting, be careful.Special Features:
- Excellent meal and friendly serviceFuntoeat2Dined on 10/10/2014Excellent food; menu not quite as extensive as sister restaurant, Gather, in Berkeley. Gluten-free bread on small plates menu was outstanding.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- always a new experiencechickenandeggVIPDined on 10/9/2014there is probably an alchemist working behind the scene: new ingredients, new ways to combine flavors and textures, which end up with a dish you had never thought of before. so put your skepticism away, everything pretty much works. the whole thing is wrapped in a very pleasant decor, and attentive service, without overbearing attitude.Special Features:
- The Place to DineJunnieDined on 10/9/2014Verbena is at the top of my list to dine. The service is definitely a "Five Star" Highly Recommended!!!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 9/30/2014The food was really pretty good except for the squash dish, which had an unappetizing texture. Unfortunately, waiting 40 minutes between our appetizers and our entree without so much as an explanation put a real damper on the whole dinner. Really a shame because I have been wanting to go since they opened, but now I don't think I will ever be back :-(Special Features:
- Great food, kind of snooty servicelocalbusinessDined on 9/30/2014FOOD IS AMAZING, unique and very interesting combinations and textures. Venue is great (nice open space, ambience was friendly and cozy). However, the dining experience was strange - server was a little condescending.Special Features:
- Superior service, exquisite food!ChristyDined on 9/28/2014My husband and I came to Verbena for our 1 year anniversary. We were greeted with a warm welcome and decided that we wanted to sit in the bar instead of the table. We were immediately served a complimentary delicious glass of champagne. Anthony, the bartender was extremely personable, knowledgeable, friendly and advised us that since it was our first time visiting Verbena, that he would take care of. My husband and I are definitely not "foodies" but we love to eat and try new foods and are open to anything and everything. Anthony suggested his favorite dishes and we took his recommendations. We joked that we weren't hungry for "dinner" however my husband and I ate each of Anthony's suggestions and had zero left overs. Must check out!Special Features:
- OpenTable Diner Since 2011VIPDined on 9/26/2014Awesome food and service. Definitely coming to enjoy the experience again:)Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- FoodyVIPDined on 9/26/2014Interesting spot - we waited 45 minutes for our table when we had a reservation. The service was erratic at first. Food was interesting but not stand out. Probably won't go again.Special Features:
- Bland food, odd servicefredloboVIPDined on 9/26/2014Made reservations as was seated in their mezzanine level. Which means upstairs by the bathrooms. Plenty of empty tables downstairs. This meant that our service was very slow and at a very odd cadence (our bread arrived halfway through our meal). Our first course was the apple beet salad. The beets were fine, if small; but the apples were tasteless and the pomegranate added nothing. Next was the pork cheek. Dry and not overly flavorful, though the cabbage was fairly tasty. Next came the bread. Would have been a highpoint (was quite good); but for the extremely over salted butter. Finally we had the chicken thighs. How is it possible to have undercooked and dry thighs? All of this on a Friday night. Can't say I'll ever be back.
- Fantastic once againMerobelDined on 9/22/2014I've been going at Verbena 4 times for dinner and a couple of times for just drinks. I love this place. Everything is thought through! One must understand how the menu works because Verbena is about sharing tasteful plates. The way veggies are cooked and arranged is sublime. Even the veggies that usually scare people away end-up being re-discovered. Make sure the waiter explains how the menu works not to be surprised. Verbena is a little expensive but really worth every penny!Special Features:
- Awesome dinnerlovethegreenDined on 9/19/2014Loved the space. Excellent knowledgeable waitstaff. Food is creative, inventive and tasty. Love all the veggie choices and that the concept is family style!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Way too strong flavorYSCAVIPDined on 9/14/2014I read the review and end up very disappointed. If you like turmeric and this is your type of food. Too much Indian spice and ingredients. Way to strong flavor. I will not come back again.
- My new favorite restaurant.MarinerSDined on 9/13/2014The food is unusual and everything is delicious. AMAZING!!Special Features:
- Great brunch, no frillsRGSPDined on 9/13/2014Great brunch menu, seated us on time, I'll be back again for brunch. the egg open face chicken skin sandwich was greatSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- BrandyVIPDined on 9/12/2014Always a stellar dining experience. Wait staff is knowledgeable, friendly and efficient. Sean Baker rocks in the kitchen!! It's one of my very favorite restaurants and I go there often with friends. It is a true neighborhood gem!Special Features:
- What to order?megregVIPDined on 9/9/2014Although our dinner was delicious, we almost couldn't find anything we wanted to order, as the menu descriptions are not actually descriptive of the dishes. They are almost off-putting. Yet, our buttermilk chicken thighs (a bit on the salty side), air dried beef with raw eggplant tapenade, and chicory & potato salad were all just great. The well-crafted cocktail list never disappoints and our waiter's wine recommendation was spot on.Special Features:
- Creative Use of IngredientsDannyGVIPDined on 9/8/2014This was my first time at Verbena and the food proved to be exciting, with creative use of ingredients. What let it down was the service - the waiter who took our orders seemed a little pushy - and the table situation. We'd arrived 20 minutes or so early but, despite this being a Monday night and the restaurant half empty, we were told our table wouldn't be available until exactly the time of the reservation. There were several alternatives but the table we were given was right at the back near the kitchen. Usually I'd complain and get moved but frankly didn't even seem worth the effort on this occasion. The guy who served the food was fantastic, however. Overall: decent but didn't feel particularly welcomed by hostess or waiter.Special Features:
- Verbena is vonderfulOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 9/5/2014Everything on the menu was superb. The service was excellent. Fantastic overall.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A Wonderful Dining ExperienceLeaGDined on 9/4/2014Verbena proved to be more than expected. From the moment we walked through the door we felt welcomed. It was as though we were at the home of a valued friend. The atmosphere is lovely right up to the lighting fixtures. Three of us dined on the most beautifully presented, scrumptious fare. Each dish was served by Justin who was not only pleasant and attentive but also well versed in the food preparation. Anthony, the bar Manager and creator of exquisite libations served us his brand of excellence. All in all this was a most pleasurable event. We will definitely recommend Verbena to others.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Excellent ExperienceJsnCDined on 9/4/2014Attention to details, amazing food, great service, all around perfect evening.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.