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
185 reviews since June 23, 2014
- Ambiance4.2Noise LevelModerate
fit for foodies (137)neighborhood gem (95)special occasion (72)romantic (51)notable wine list (42)hot spot (37)vibrant bar scene (32)good for groups (31)great for brunch (27)great for outdoor dining (8)great for lunch (6)late-night find (6)kid-friendly (4)scenic view (2)Show More
- 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 serviceOpenTable Diner Since 2007Dined 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.
- 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: