A sophisticated fine-dining experience blending the creativity of innovative, world-class seafood cuisine and the excellence of four-star cooking talent with the highest standards in quality and service, food presentation and interior décor in an upscale environment.
The world-class contemporary seafood menu features the exquisite French cuisine of Executive Chef Laurent Manrique. Aqua features the freshest local and imported seafood selections, as well as delicious shellfish, tender scallops, selected meat and poultry dishes, and delicacies such as fresh oysters, caviar and foie gras.
Combining the influence of his childhood in Gascony and traditional French techniques with inspiration from the rich bounty of fresh, local products and seafood found in the Bay Area, Chef Laurent Manrique creates dishes combining the best of both old and new world cuisine. His light, minimalistic approach to cooking emphasizes an overall balance flavors, allowing Manrique to compose deceptively simple yet complex dishes where each ingredient blends harmoniously into the next.
Aqua’s most popular and requested menu items are the tasting selections. The seven-course chef’s tasting menu highlights special seasonal dishes. A seven-course vegetarian tasting menu are also offered. A professional wine pairing is also available with each tasting menu.
Aqua offers a selection of approximately 500 different and unique wines to complement the restaurant’s distinctive cuisine. The selection includes remarkable finds from California, Oregon, France, Italy, Germany, Spain and New Zealand is enhanced bi-weekly to include new discoveries in terms of outstanding quality, value or the best representation of a winemaker’s style.
Located in the heart of San Francisco’s bustling Financial District, Aqua occupies the ground floor of a restored, post-1906 earthquake structure on California Street between Battery and Front. Subtly marked only by an engraved bronze name plaque attached to the granite façade of the building, guests enter the restaurant through double-glass doors with a telltale bronze fishtail handle.
Upscale and elegant, unpretentious and animated.
A role-model for accomplished contemporary American restaurant design, Aqua easily qualifies as one of the most beautiful restaurants in the Bay Area. The timeless, classic application of muted crème colors on plaster walls, the use of exquisite woods, onyx and marble in the different furnishings and the intricate, theatre-style lighting underline the elegant atmosphere and ageless beauty. Meanwhile high ceilings, two soaring windows and five huge, oversized mirrors add modern, larger-than-life components and a stylish touch. The spacious dining room, visually separated from the bar by three square columns and marble-topped tables adorned with elaborate floral arrangements, invites 120 diners at a time to slip onto the clip-covered high-back chairs and relax. Before and after dinner, the expansive, slightly curved 20-foot long maple-top bar invites guests to linger on linen-covered barstools and enjoy a drink.
Eight elaborate floral arrangements create exciting visual focal points within the restaurant. Every week, floral designers bring a fresh harvest of seasonal flora to Aqua. Preparing the up to 12-foot high bouquets that display a strong visual but only emit a minimal scent takes a crew of five workers up to six hours.