Located just blocks from Coors Field, Union Station and the Denver Performing Arts Complex, Water Grill is the freshest seafood concept to grace the vibrant 16th Street Mall—and it seems as though landlocked Denverites can’t get enough of the coastal delights at the sophisticated maritime-themed establishment. With an upscale, warm atmosphere heavy on wood and brass accents, the large venue (with seating for more than 200) is highlighted by large saltwater tanks featuring a rotating cadre of seafood and crustaceans that visually whet the appetite for the epicurean delights to come.
“When guests dine at Water Grill, they can expect an authentic and nautical setting with industrial design touches,” says Chef Jessica Biederman. “The custom-made copper bartop is visually captivating, and the 9,400-square-foot space features large operable windows that can open and close to suit any season. The space also features a raw bar and saltwater tanks with live spiny lobsters and gigantic king crabs adding to the straight-from-the-water culinary experience.”
One of the many highlights of the large, lively venue is its stunning 36-seat market-style raw bar that stocks as many as 24 different kinds of oysters on any given day. Part of a family-owned-and-operated restaurant group based in Costa Mesa, California, Water Grill sources all of its seafood from its proprietary fishmongering center, King’s Seafood Distribution, which supplies seafood exclusively to the restaurant group’s collection of establishments in Colorado, California, Arizona and Nevada.
At Water Grill, the seasonally driven menus change throughout the day to reflect the freshest options the restaurant has to offer, and Water Grill offers a wide selection of first-of-season seafood items that otherwise aren’t found in Colorado. “It’s not on the menu,” says Biederman, “but one of the ways in which we serve our whole fish is called ‘ceviche style,’ and it’s very popular with our frequent guests. The brightness in flavor is balanced by the perfect amount of heat from the Fresno chiles.”
The most popular entrée is the wild Ross Sea Chilean sea bass, says the chef. “We often serve it with butternut gnocchi and browned butter to complement the richness, then finish it with fresh sage. The Peruvian scallops add a perfect bite of freshness. The citrus pesto is packed with flavor and offers a super bright and refreshing crispness.