October 25, 2011


My birthday is coming up but I had to make arrangements to do my annual birthday dinner a weekend early in order to attend a friends wedding. No problem for me since it just meant I got to go eat sooner! Each year I try to go somewhere I haven't been in awhile and steer away from all of my regular spots. For this birthday I decided on Watermark, a great, upscale restaurant that I haven't been to in over a year!

Watermark is located in the constantly growing neighborhood called The Gulch. With a patio and view to die for, the food has always been equally as good so I was excited to give this old favorite another try.

We arrived a little early for our 8:30 reservation so that we could sit at the bar and have a drink before we started dinner. My mom and I ordered the "Cucumber Refresher," which consisted of vodka, cucumber juice, ginger liqueur, and lemon. If you've read my blog before, you know a cucumber/vodka drink is perfection to me and this one was no different; not too sweet, refreshing, and strong. Just what I needed!

After a short wait, we were seated and ready to eat. We started out with the fried green tomato appetizer which came with a lump crab salad(we ordered this on the side) and green goddess dressing. The tomatoes were firm and the dressing was garlicky and went well with the tomatoes. After the tomatoes I opted for the lettuce salad: mixed greens with marcona almonds, grilled halloumi cheese, figs and herb vinaigrette. I had never heard of this cheese and it's a shame because it was absolutely amazing. Firm and smoky from the grill, this cheese along with the figs really made the salad.

After 2 great courses and a yummy Pinot Noir, I opted for the Fall vegetable tart. Of everything I tasted throughout the night, this was by far the least impressive. 
For an entree, the tart was very small and only came with a small serving of baby greens dressed in a vinaigrette. It was also mostly crust. I wanted so badly to like this entree as it is right up my alley, but I missed the cheesy, warm, vegetable flavors I was hoping for. Our server said this was a brand new item so hopefully they will tweak it for the next diners.

On the other hand, my parent's entrees were divine! My mom ordered the Steelhead Trout, one of my favorite fish. It was prepared with a herb-Brioche crust and served with vidalia-onion mashed potatoes and a rosemary- shallot vinaigrette. One of the best fish dishes I've tasted in awhile.
Cooked perfectly and the brioche crust was insane!
My dad, as usual, went with the red meat option on the menu; the hickory grilled New York strip with truffled twice baked potato, patty pan squash, arugula and port demi-glace. The presentation was enough to make me love it and then I tasted it! 
Vertical twice baked potato. As good as it looks!
I obviously didn't try the meat, but let me tell you about the sides on this dish. First of all, the potato was awesome. Full of butter, sour cream, cheese, and chives, this warm, salty potato was to die for. I want another one right now just writing about it! Also, the roasted patty pan squash, one of my favorite vegetables, was sauteed perfectly leaving it still firm but perfectly cooked. I can't say enough about the veggies on the plate. And, according to my dad, the meat was amazing as well.

Despite the tart falling short, Watermark still has it. I highly recommend this place for a special occasion as it's a little pricey for a casual date night or quick dinner. And a tip, if you are going to be dining later in the evening like we did, request to sit in the bar where things stay a bit livelier later into the night.

Happy Eating,