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
178 reviews since April 30, 2014
- Ambiance4.2Noise LevelModerate
fit for foodies (136)neighborhood gem (98)special occasion (70)romantic (49)hot spot (35)great for brunch (32)notable wine list (29)vibrant bar scene (27)good for groups (18)great for lunch (13)great for outdoor dining (7)late-night find (5)kid-friendly (3)scenic view (2)Show More
- 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!LandscapeinsfDined 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.
- Food not fabShopgurlDined on 7/19/2014Excited to come to Verbena as we heard great things about it. Our server was lovely and knowledgable and we loved the restaurant space but the food was not up to the standard we had heard about. Both entree's the chicken and the salmon were under cooker and the appetizer duck wings not as flavorful as it sounded. The menu itself did hold much appeal for us and not likely we would come back.
- MicheleVIPDined on 7/18/2014Chef is a talent with vegetables. We love his presentation and flavors. It is our new special occasion celebration restaurant.Special Features:
- Just meh.SparkleanddineDined on 7/17/2014Our server was good. Good was boring. Hungry when I got home ...Special Features:
- Eclectic menuCloudrockDined on 7/17/2014Not for foodies. Very unusual menu. Produce from their Sonoma county farm. I wouldn't recommend if you are hungry and like meat.
- What else can I say but Wow...davesVIPDined on 7/14/2014The food was amazing. The chicken thighs were delicious. Duck wings were some of the best I have ever had. The seaweed in the tomato and fennel salad played off each other perfectly. Can't wait to try brunch.Special Features:
- Excellent food, service & ambitiousOpenTable Diner Since 2013Dined on 7/12/2014Excellent food with 90% from local farm Knowledgable staff will go backSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Tony the TigerOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 7/12/2014Verbena is Gr-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-eat!!! Great service and great food. Only thing not great...dessert. They need to hire a pastry chef.Special Features:
- OK, Just OKsh3mpDined on 7/10/2014I can go to the farmers market, buy exquisite vegetables, and barely cook or season them too. Of course they will taste good and be beautiful. Verbena makes pretty good food, mainly by starting with good ingredients and not doing much to them. There is a veneer of culinary sophistication with molecular gastronomy flourishes here (e.g. powdered beets), and unusual combinations (wrapping the halibut in a fig leaf) there, but basically, this is very simple food that tastes good because the ingredients are good. Nothing wrong with that of course, but the place doesn't deliver on its prices or live up to its pretentions.
- MalaMickyDined on 7/9/2014The food was fantastic - wonderful flavors and visually very NICE! One of our best new finds in a long time. The flavors were so good. If we were at home, we would have licked the plates.Special Features:
- Awesome and yummy!LandscapeinsfDined on 7/3/2014I've been a little lukewarm on the sister restaurant "Gather" in Berkeley, although I've eaten there many times since they first opened. However, Verbena did not disappoint. Everything was perfect, the food, the service, nice wine-by-the-glass, reasonable serving sizes, very creative and imaginative menu, delightful blend of seasonings and not too precious which seems to be the norm in hip SF restaurants these days! The sprouted seed bread at $7 for two people was delicious and gluten-free! We ordered all vegetarian and the "main course" didn't seem to be any more substantial than the "beginnings." Next time we will order 4 starters and dessert! We will be back often, and bring special out of town guests. Why no menu on their webpage?Special Features:
- Very good and uniquePickyeater711Dined on 7/1/2014I really liked Verbena. I would recommend the restaurant to friends. It has a pretty unique menu and I thought the service was great. The food was a tad bit on the salty side though. I LOVED the little gem salad. The chicken mole meatballs were good too. The sprout bread appetizer was delicious - served hot with a nice goat cheese spread. We got a peach dish that I would not recommend though. Overall a good place and a nice dining experienceSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- a true findJoanVIPDined on 6/30/2014fantastic food and device great drinks handsome settingSpecial Features:
- DisappointedLovesVeggiesVIPDined on 6/28/2014After having dined at Gather, we had high expectations for Verbena. Our party was mixed between meat eaters and those on a plant-based diet and both sets were not impressed by the food. The meatballs in mole sauce were bland and the vegetable dishes while creative we're not particularly tasty or memorable. The location and ambiance were great and the person in our party who ordered a cocktail truly enjoyed it. The seed bread was the standout menu item but at $7 for two thin slices, I would not order it again. My suggestion for improvement is to focus more on flavor and complementary dishes and less on creativity.
- The food was excellent!BobbiDined on 6/27/2014The food and service was fantastic! Try the matcha dessert. It's an odd combo of ingredients that just work. It was divine! The wines by glass list was just ok, otherwise I would have given them 5 stars.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great Food, Fantastic ServiceDaveBezerkleyDined on 6/27/2014We dined at Verbena for the first time and it was wonderful. The service was friendly, informative, and attentive. All of our questions were clearly answered and the food was excellent. As vegetarians, it was the right choice for us. Although meat items were available, there were plenty of delicious and extremely creative choices for us to choose from as well. And the cocktails were different and delicious as well. We will return again and bring friends next time. Highly recommend it.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Beautifully Presented Veggie DishesmakkayDined on 6/20/2014The veggie dishes were really delicious and beautiful to look at -- however, I thought they were a bit pricey for the type and amount of food on a plate. Also, one thing that surprised me was that two out of three of the dishes we tried had a spicy hot flavor that I was not expecting. Though go there when you are really hungry, unless you buy the bread on the menu to go with the veggie dishes to fill you up.I would recommend this to a friend.