Fantasy Dining On & Below the Bay

15 01 2014

Although I don’t have any photos – let me see if I can paint you a picture.

The hustle and bustle of San Francisco.  The Ferry Building.  As the clock strikes 6PM, the crowds part and 6 friends find each other to reconnect for one night of the year.  Who knows what adventures will unfold.  First stop:  Hard Water – a whiskey bar that has floor to ceiling lit shelves of every type of whiskey, artisan ice cubes and the most savory smelling fried chicken I’ve ever had the pleasure to watch as it was walked across the room from kitchen to patron.

Second Stop:  Forbes Island – which you probably would never think about but most likely have seen it when you went to watch the sea lions barking up a storm at Pier 39 (by the way – they have returned).  The website says ‘Fantasy dining on & below the bay’ and that pretty much sums it up.  You board a pontoon boat and take a 2 minute (maybe) boat ride past the sea lions to dock at Forbes Island.  There’s a restaurant on and below the water and a lighthouse with an observation deck that gives you a view of the skyline.  It’s an odd experience.  It’s kind of like you’re in an overstuffed boat with chandeliers rocking on the ceiling, port holes – some with stained glass art and some just glass so you can watch crab and fish swim right by you as you dine.  As you sit down to eat, the water level is right at your head and you can feel the subtle rock and sway of the ‘island’ as it bobs in the water or gets hit with wake from the boats in the bay.  You get used to the motion of the ocean (hopefully before you get sea sick) but it doesn’t help when the servers rock back and forth on their heels to counteract the movement.  It’s a whoozy experience, but definitely a memorable one.  And the women’s bathroom – it’s like you’re entering into the captain’s quarters – bed and everything!

The food was tasty, the bubbly was bubbly, the experience was odd and kitschy but nothing could outshine the laughter and the jokes and the stories that were told and the stories that will be retold from that night.

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