Neighborhood: Financial DistrictPrice Range: $$$$
Grabbing a glass of Wine & a Nibble or two after work has become my M.O. as of late. Around 2 or 3pm some days, I find myself wondering where I could go to satisfy this urge. I do have a few places that are quick go-to spots for me in the FiDi - Les Amis being my top place and Perbacco, Frisson, the Bubble Lounge & Aqua are other faves.
The reason I felt the need to write a quick review of Aqua even though I haven't offically dined there for Dinner, is because I find myself there after work for a glass or two of wine & apps quite often lately, as it is on my way to Bart. And though it is a bit pricey and bustling full of suits (of which in the FiDi, you don't have much of a choice), I have grown to love going there.
Because I have become a bit of a regular there (thanks to my friend, Melissa) the bartenders and staff have come to know or at least recognize us to the point of even remembering what types of wine we each prefer and some even know us by name.
And I cannot complete this review without mentioning the charming and hospitable, Jean Claude Persais, the VP of Operations. You can usually find him walking around the restaurant with a huge smile, welcoming people & inquiring as to how they are and if there is anything that they need. And although the Restaurant, in all of its elegant & beautiful splendor, can be intimidating, one can't help but feel at home with Jean Claude's warmth & hospitality, not to mention the loveliness of the staff as well.
Tuna Tartare has become one of those predictable, if not obsolete Dishes at most Restaurants.At Aqua, Tuna Tartare is their Signature Dish for which they are well known even before Tuna Tartare became popular, and some may even say that they were the original creators of the Dish. Whatever the case, it is undoubtedly a step above the rest.
A little tip for those that are unaware, there are two styles of preparation - One being the 'Classic or Original' and the 'New Moroccan-inspired' Style which is described on the Menu as the Tartare of Ahi Tuna with Moroccan Spices, Lemon Confit, Fresh Herbs. Both are great, but the Classic is no longer shown on the Menu and must be requested. I am a fan of both.
Aqua is definitely one of, if not, the quintessential must-try dining experiences in San Francisco, if money were no object for the Power Lunch or for those very Special Occasions, for both locals and visitors alike.
I, myself, have been for lunch a few times, but I have yet to go there for Dinner. And even though it has been on my Bucket List of places to eat in SF for some time now, it has certainly moved up that ladder.