Verbena Now Open in San Francisco


Verbena, now open on upper Polk Street the Russian Hill neighborhood, provides San Francisco with an intriguing new dining option from the team behind the acclaimed Berkeley restaurant, Gather. Verbena serves California cuisine as envisioned by awarding-winning chef Sean Baker. The venue was most recently home to Marbella and prior to that, Rex Cafe for 20 years.

The menu at Verbena is designed for sharing and includes such dishes as duck meatballs; cardoons and parsnips; trotter terrine; chicories with pumpkin seed milk; Koji quail; seafood sausage; and swordfish with Cioppino verde. For dessert, diners can enjoy molasses ginger cake with carrot sorbet and IPA caramel; and kaffir lime cheesecake with turmeric marshmallow and black sesame meringue.


Chef Baker is known for his work at Gather, a restaurant repeatedly designated a Michelin Bib Gourmand, as well as voted a “best California restaurant in the Bay Area” on the San Francisco Chronicle’s Gather Restaurant was also named a Best New Restaurant in America by Esquire Magazine, which selected Baker their 2010 Chef of the Year.

The full bar at Verbena showcases an innovative wine list and artisanal cocktail offerings. Michael Ireland (French Laundry, Quince, Restaurant at Meadowood) oversees the producer-focused wine program. Also contributing to Verbena’s debut is General Manager Sabrina Matlin previously from La Mar Cebichería Peruana and the Boxing Room, both in San Francisco.


Helping to design Verbena was Abueg Morris Architects (Nopalito, Comal, Hi Lo BBQ,). The main dining room seats 62, and the bar is a focal feature of the venue. Decor highlights include high ceilings, an illuminated wooden “pickle” wall, a prominent set of five wall art panels made from Lindencroft farm soil, a black walnut live edge bar and counter tops, and custom. pottery. There is also an intimate upstairs mezzanine with room for 12 guests, plus seating for 16 at sidewalk tables, weather permitting.

Verbena is located at 2323 Polk Street, between Green and Union Streets, in San Francisco, California. The restaurant is open nightly for dinner and will serve Saturday and Sunday brunch beginning in Spring, 2014. Public transit is recommended but neighborhood street parking is often available and there is a parking lot at the corner of Broadway and Polk Street. Verbena welcomes walk-in diners, and will begin taking reservations shortly at (415) 441-2323. Visit Verbena on the web at