2323 Polk Street
San Francisco, CA 94109Neighborhood:
CalifornianPrice: $30 and under
- Dining Style: Casual Elegant
- Website: http://www.verbenarestaurant.com/
- Phone: 4154412323x
- 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
- Private Party Facilities: Private Dining experiences must be booked through our private dining coordinator. Please call the restaurant to discuss the details.
- Private Party Contact: Sabrina 4154412323x
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
187 reviews since May 20, 2014
- Ambiance4.3Noise LevelModerate
fit for foodies (145)neighborhood gem (104)special occasion (68)romantic (52)hot spot (35)vibrant bar scene (32)notable wine list (31)great for brunch (29)good for groups (24)great for lunch (12)great for outdoor dining (8)late-night find (5)kid-friendly (4)scenic view (2)Show More
- 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.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2011VIPDined 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 IngredientsOpenTable Diner Since 2010Dined 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.
- Looks can be decievingpastryturtleDined on 8/31/2014The restaurant looked really nice and relaxing and I was looking forward to dinner. THE BREAD WAS AMAZING!!!! BUT the rest of the meal was meh... The farm to table concept really intrigued me and I was really excited about having dinner here but the dinner started out on a high with that bread, next we had some sort of okra and bean dish which I really liked and it was downhill from there. I'm not saying the food was bad but it wasn't great nothing to be excited over I think so it was a let down. We ended up leaving after about 4 tapas, which was about $80 and not worth it, we went to another restaurant to eat.
- Great food on limited menuGreatVIPDined on 8/30/2014This was our first visit to this new restaurant. So far the Chef is working well but the rest of the crew are still learning. The seed bread and the meatball-clam starter were just extremely tasty novel tastes and well worth a visit here for the alone. The " white" chicken thighs were extraordinary-- juicy with thigh tastiness turned to breast meats by marinating in milk and their special ingredients. The wines were excellent.but the menu choices were quite limited-- maybe the salmon, but why no meat? The service was quite slow and the darling lady at the computer had so much effort to find us a table even though the restaurant was half empty when we arrived on time for our 8:39 reservation. They need more waiters and fewer suits.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Victim of Crappy SF TrendRayCVIPDined on 8/30/2014The bartenders are outstanding. The staff, super accommodating and attentive without being annoying. The food (for the most part) was flavorful and innovative. But why, WHY, do we need small plates, medium plates and big plates. Can't we just have little plates and big plates? We had no idea how to order so we ordered WAY too much which was fine because we got to taste almost everything on the menu but when medium plates cost $18 on average your bill can sky rocket quickly. One more thing - PLEASE GET RID OF STUPID RECLAIMED WOOD! DOWN WITH THAT TREND! Oh and the bathrooms looked like they were out of your local public high school.Special Features:
- Incredible!localdinerVIPDined on 8/30/2014Creative, delicious dishes.....and the menu changes which is nice! We have never had a dish here that wasn't good. Just took my sister and her husband here for a birthday dinner and they, too, loved it. Highly recommend this restaurant!Special Features:
- EspressoVIPDined on 8/30/2014Pros: Nice decor, pleasant staff, can talk and hear each other. Cons: The food is "precious." Some of the dishes were good and some not so. Surprisingly the staff said it was good for sharing and recommended we do the same. But the food is so compex that it is not easy to share — impossible for all 4 people on the table to get a healthy bite of all t he flavors in any dish. Expensive.Special Features:
- Simply Awesome FoodMimiPattersonDined on 8/30/2014If you desire fresh, locally grown food at its best, served with style and flair, then Verbena has surely captured your palette. The Chef creates amazingly deliciously dishes just from the simplest ingredients. He incorporates fresh apples and cucumbers with an exquisite walnut and beet sauce. The duck wings are savory with unique seasoning that makes you want to crave more. Their cocktails are original and pairs well with everything on the menu. You'll enjoy the food and wonderful ambience that comes with it. Bon Appetit!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Just OKcuriousfoodieDined on 8/29/2014This place was overrated. Good service and cool ambiance but they had very small portions of uninspired food especially for the price. We had to grab pizza afterward.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great restaurant.AlExVIPDined on 8/28/2014Verbena is a great overall restaurant. Good service, nice looking place, and great food.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Neighborhood GemJennyLouDined on 8/22/2014Great addition to the Russian Hill neighborhood, although we have a few observations. First, our waiter tried to up-sell us, which is annoying. We were hungry and wanted to try many different things (food and beverages), so no need push it. Food is good, but a little overdone at times--dish combinations are interesting but perhaps a little strange. Wait staff cleared our plates too quickly and then there'd be a wait before next course.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Reservations not honoredmataDined on 8/21/2014Made a reservation for 8:15 on a thursday night, not seated until 9pm. The manager was apologetic and comp 'ed an appetizer and desert; a little wait past the reservation is acceptable, but 45 min, something's wrong there.Special Features:
- Too many flavoursMariaDined on 8/21/2014The food was too ambitiously overdone, with way too many flavours per dish. Plating was nice, but all in all the food was too much and too intense. Large wine list, but a little hard to overlook since it's mainly sorted by wine house. All in all, we had higher expectations and were highly disappointed by the food.
- Vegans don't do veggies this wellDebDavDined on 8/21/2014This is a place you come when you want to explore something you hadn't imagined in food before. Other than the water, beer, fine wine and bread, nothing here is what you could find anywhere else. The ingredients are recognizable, but the combinations are unique. There are magnificent creations with fruits and vegetables. We didn't try the squid and watermelon, and instead went for the shaved air dried beef and berries. Pretend you are a food channel judge and come to experience. Some plates the meat is used to accent the vegetable preparation, while others are meat free. They did have chicken (which we did not try) every entrée was something I had not seen before.Special Features:
- FitfoodieVIPDined on 8/20/2014I have been a huge fan of Verbena but when I visited the restaurant recently I was underwhelmed by the new seasonal menu. We tried a few different items and were left feeling like the flavors didn't marry together well. I had previously enjoyed the carrots, the meatballs w/ the mole sauce and the mushrooms w/ polenta. All amazing! On our recent visit in August, we ordered the air dried beef with eggplant which had no flavor and the green beans with plums were just OK. The meatballs were delicious but I didn't like the pairing w/ the clams in a broth. The cocktails were outstanding as they always are and the wine was superb. Service was great too! I will be back but just looking forward to a change in the menu with the next season.Special Features:
- Hipster crowd, new take on dishesDamonDined on 8/19/2014Hostess was great. Thanked us for calling to adjust our reservation at the last minute. Was only half-filled when we got there; packed when we left. Noise level definitely ratcheted upward. Good mix of diners; heavy on the hipster yuppie side. Food was refreshing combos I wouldn't have considered. A couple of the sauces were really surprising (in a good way). Ordered 4 dishes to share and it was about right. Didn't feel too full or starving for more at the end of the meal. Ingredients were fresh and used well in the dishes. The squash and cucumber were crunchy fresh; a nice contrast with the salmon. Nicely done.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great, once again!LandscapeinsfVIPDined on 8/19/2014Our second visit was great again. Menu seems a bit "precious" but totally original, delicious, and servings are filling. Wine list is expensive, but by the glass reasonable. Service excellent both times. Probably only for special occasions for us tho, not inexpensive!Special Features:
- Beyond perfectHungryThirstyDined on 8/18/2014I want to send this restaurant a gift. They made a special occasion "magical"- which might be the first time my boyfriends has ever used that word. Every dish was vibrant with flavor, and they were able to accommodate some difficult dietary preferences. The staff went FAR out of their way to help hide a dozen friends for a post-meal surprise party... This restaurant is now the beautiful setting of some unforgettable memories. GoSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Nice change for the neighborhoodhungryandhealthyVIPDined on 8/18/2014The bar and ambience here are beautiful and serene. The staff is knowledgeable and attentive. The prices reflect a bit of the downtown (expense account) feel, but the quality of the food is top notch. It was delicious, interesting, seasonally fresh, healthy, and thoughtfully prepared, even if the portions left a bit to be desired. The only complaint is that a hungry person might need 4 dishes rather than 2 for satisfaction, and it could be a bigger $$$ dent than expected for dinner.Special Features:
- DisappointedOpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 8/16/2014We were very excited to try out this restaurant and came for dinner. The place looks nice and intimate. And the service was very lovely. The only thing negative was the food. My husband had the chicken, it was undercooked. I had the air dried beef; i found many pips. Then we ordered the fig & chocolate dessert (with peanut butter). It was way too salty! It's unlikely we would come back
- yummy but small portionsOpenTable Diner Since 2005Dined on 8/16/2014Verbena has inventive and delicious food, but it's one of those places that has giant plates with small artfully placed bits of food. If you're down with that, you'll love it.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Saturday brunch @ VerbenaSFstairwaywalksDined on 8/16/2014The food was very good & the host was particularly friendly. Service was prompt & timely throughout. The server needed to be more well versed on the ingredients & describing the various menu options. The written menu itself didn't really pull everything together. This is where a knowledgeable server comes in handy. We also asked for a cocktail that we had seen online but wasn't listed on the menu. The bartender & server weren't familiar with the online listing. Overall, though, a good experience!Special Features:
- innovative foodeatwellDined on 8/15/2014innovative small plates. our party of 4 had 7 plates where we all shared. everything really good.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- verbenaopentableDined on 8/11/2014Verbena provided one of the most creative and delicious meals we have had on a long time. Some diners may miss out on this place because the menu gives a staid description of food that is actually very remarkable in its preparation and surprising in taste, texture and combination of ingredients. This applies as well to the cocktails, which were fantastic. The staff were very friendly and accommodating. We had a great experience.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- LOVE LOVE LOVEsmm12Dined on 8/8/2014As somewhat of a foodie, it takes a bit to impress me. This place impressed me and was AMAZING. Every dish we got was beautiful, delicious, and interesting. And the service was great, too! This will DEFINITELY be one of our recommended places for people wanting to try interesting, but approachable dishes.Special Features:
- Fun to go to a special place!CentrallyLocatedVIPDined on 8/8/2014This restaurant is working on a different plane. From the "quiet kitchen" to the "special menu"/changed daily, you know it's going to be fresh and good. The bartenders seem to be having fun so you know that the start will be good. But when the servers are having fun, and when they are so proud and well-informed - you know you are in the right place. And on Polk Street, even! We are just happy we could come before the masses. And when the masses come, we hope that the chef remembers "the little people" - neighbors who are pleased to have a great dining spot so close to home. Thank you.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- VerbenaMarkDined on 8/6/2014We loved our evening at Verbena despite being thoroughly jet lagged from our London flight. The food was beautifully presented, ingredients fresh, the flavor combinations worked perfectly and the service, while attentive was not too much. We would not hesitate to recommend.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Amazing FoodFantasticDined on 8/6/2014Each of our dishes were delicious, creative, and memorable. The descriptions on the menu are not particularly enticing or appealing. Perhaps the menu could be improved. Thank goodness for Randy, our server, who had the gift of visually describing the food and taste beautifully. We had the tomato appetizer, the clams and meatballs, and the salmon. Outstanding! Randy was also very gracious, informative, and professional. The acoustics are not conducive to conversation, especially the tables along the walls. Not sure what can be done but we were moved to a table by the windows and that dwas much improved. Our friend, a food writer, recommended Verbena - the food was indeed Amazing!Special Features:
- A Great Find!FrequentSFdinerDined on 8/3/2014What a great dining experience! Don't expect a salad, entree and dessert type meal here. This is a chance to explore the world of food in a way that is refreshing and unexpected! The service from the moment we walked through the door was friendly and expert. The wine list was fun and the bar suggests some great craft drinks. The chef uses garden fresh ingredients with seeds, nuts and herbs in a way that is unexpected but delicious. We had a wonderful dining experience. Thank you to Chef Baker and your staff!Special Features:
- food as theaterLilacteaDined on 7/31/2014Don't go for the food, but for an over the top moment in time of the pretentious craziness of the SF foodie scene. Came here with my architect from NY-a serious food devotee. He ordered a sardine dish -when it came, both of us looked for the fish - thought what in the dish was the base. The microscopic pieces in the broth were the sardines. I asked the waiter if that was all - he said "it's one of our small dishes." We also ordered the seed bread - excellent - and duck wings (meh) and salmon, which at least had a nice piece of fish. When it came time for desert, I asked the waiter if it was enough to share. "It's not like you're at Cheesecake Factory," he sniffed in his Aussie accent. Perfect. Wine was well priced.
- AmazingEricVIPDined on 7/30/2014In one word. Food was interesting and fantastic. The kitchen did alterations to some dishes for my gluten and lactose intolerance which is found only in the best restaurants. Service was exceptional. Ambiance stellar. My only complaint is that they don't have a good chardonnay by the glass, but I had a very good red in it's place. I will definitely go back.Special Features:
- Creative, original cuisineVinophileVIPDined on 7/25/2014The menu has so many esoteric ingredients which come together in an exquisite way. I'm always surprised by the combinations--which really work--when I dine at Verbena. Very nice wine list with lots of choices. Service is warm and most informative.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- love VerbenaOpenTable Diner Since 2000VIPDined on 7/23/2014Verbena is one of our favorite spots in San Francisco. The food is creative and interesting yet always delicious, and made from only the most fresh, delicious ingredients. Staff is friendly. The decor and ambience is great too!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- DisappointedLauraDDined on 7/20/2014We sat down and ordered their $7 sprouted bread, which was very good, though my partner hated the beet sauerkraut the goat cheese comes with, which I enjoyed. When our bread came, another waiter brought their doughy not particularly good house bread, which we had not asked for. But they charged us when the check came. I ordered the salmon was very specific wanting it as rare as possible. I was assured that is how they do it anyway, but they will make sure of it. I got a VERY cooked through piece of salmon but after waiting quite a while for it, did not feel like sending it back, as my partner's dish had already come. He did love his duck wings. I was intrigued by a Squash Cake, for dessert. Basically it is a $9 for ginger bread slices.