Mountain towns are often distrusting of transported seafood, brushing it aside out of concern for freshness. After all, how fresh can it be after a day-long flight or transit?
Enter Water Grill, a SoCal-based chain of high-end family restaurants dedicated to serving Denver the freshest fish possible thanks to a proprietary distribution company, alongside unbeatable service and an unforgettable ambiance.
Denver’s new Water Grill location opened to the public on February 9th, with a soft opening held a week prior for friends and family. They swung open their doors with a devotion to offering an elevated dining experience, complete with premium seafood and a staff with deep knowledge of each menu item.
The 9,400-square-foot establishment can seat nearly 240 guests in the main dining room, plus 36 seats at the bar and raw bar. So if you’re planning a dinner party or group dining experience, they have the room to accommodate your needs. Water Grill plans to add another private dining space in the near future as well with three different rooms, clocking in at 3,000 square feet. This room would serve luxurious private events for groups of 20 to 70 guests. To book a private event, send any inquiries to Events Manager Miesha Krumheuer at email@example.com.
Inside, you’ll find a large dining space and three kinds of bars: a custom copper top bar for drinks, another for sushi, and a raw bar to claim the day’s catch. The chic dining room flaunts homey wooden ceilings and rustic leather chairs, as well as buttoned, tufted leather booths and ambient chandeliers. Nautical decorations surround each room, from paintings of the sea to fake snapper and mahi-mahi pinned to classic brick walls. And if you’re seated by the kitchen, you’re in for a show.
All that separates you from Water Grill’s team of seafood extraordinaires is a sliding glass door. Seeing your food being made offers a strange assurance, especially when you see the pristine kitchen quality Water Grill maintains. The LoDo restaurant even has large, mechanical windows that open the dining room to the outside world. If you’re a fan of dinner with a view, not to mention the addition of the city’s undeniable energy, don’t sleep on this unique feature.
Now, for the food. Water Grill’s extensive menu doesn’t miss a beat, from wild Alaskan black cod and tasty King Crab to fresh sashimi crafted by their team of skilled itamae. You’ll also find Ross Sea Chilean sea bass that’ll make your mouth water, Santa Barbara spot prawns, chilled shellfish platters for shared meals, and expansive menus for their raw bar and oyster selection. You’ll find that their menu changes on a daily basis according to the season. The restaurant also harbors an impressive saltwater tank system chock-full of live shellfish, Barents Sea king crab, lobster, and more.
However, it’s their signature plates and expert service that’ll keep you coming back. Try their farmed Peruvian Bay Scallops, garnished with pistachio and citrus pesto, or a classic harbor meal such as the New England Lobster Rolls. The wild Spanish Octopus is bolstered with fingerling potato, roasted tomato, niçoise olives, and just the right amount of lemon and olive oil - all on a charcoal grill. As for their wild Ross Sea Chilean Sea Bass, you’ll find it paired with a memorable butternut squash gnocchi and sage brown butter. Water Grill even cooks up secret, off-menu items for those who are aware, such as their fresh, whole fish ceviche.
For a meal that’ll leave you craving more, consider a few recommendations of Chef Bierderman. If you like to kick things off with an appetizer, go for the whole fish ceviche. After you’ve cleared that plate, try out Water Grill’s Black Cod for a keen example of their top-tier fish quality. And if your sweet tooth is beckoning, Chef Bierderman suggests the Key Lime Pie among other options like Maple Cheesecake, Chocolate Espresso Ganache Cake, and their fan-favorite - Caramel Bread Pudding, topped with alaea red sea salt.
Water Grill is owned by King’s Seafood Company, a high-end restaurant chain and seafood distribution company out of Costa Mesa, California. Perhaps the most interesting trait about the company is the latter fact; since King’s Seafood owns its own distribution company, their fish is bought straight from fishermen. Oysters are direct from oyster farms. Crab boats supply their live King Crab. Thanks to King’s seafood distribution company in Santa Ana, California, Water Grill can bring the freshest seafood from the coast to the mountains of Denver. Little-to-none quality is lost in transit, too. In fact, Denver’s Water Grill receives three shipments of seafood per week from their distribution center in California - and the trip is only four hours door-to-door.
King’s Seafood Company and Water Grill were co-founded by two cousins who tapped into their fathers’ legacies. Sam and Jeff King, whose fathers began building restaurants together in 1945, hold over 75 years of close connections with local fishermen and lobstermen. A large percentage of King’s supply comes from Southern California, which is then plugged into their tight-knit network of family restaurants.
When asked about their decision to set up shop in Denver, co-owner Sam King shared his thoughts: “We are so pleased to bring Water Grill to Colorado. As a family-owned business, we approach our entire operation through that lens; our team, fisherman partners and our guests are part of our community. We’re dedicated to responsible and sustainable aquaculture, and we’re looking forward to bringing that experience to Denver.”
Visit LoDo’s new Water Grill location off of 1691 Market Street to taste the freshness for yourself, whether it be a run-of-the-mill family meal, dinner date, or private party that calls for custom accommodations. Browse their menu and reserve a table by visiting their website at watergrill.com/denver.