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Forbes Island - 16 Reviews - Sea Lion Harbor - H Dock, San Francisco, CA - Romantic Dining Reviews - Phone (415) 951-4900

Forbes Island

Sea Lion Harbor - H Dock (at at Pier 39)
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 951-4900
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Our family and that of our future Daughter-In-Law went to Forbes Island on Friday, 10/22/10 for our son's upcoming wedding rehearsal dinner. \r After much research, my husband fo...


Having lived in San Francisco for 30 years I had never heard of the place. We had friends who had read about it in Sunset Magazine and were visiting from out of town and wanted ...

Wonderful Experience 10/25/2010

Our family and that of our future Daughter-In-Law went to Forbes Island on Friday, 10/22/10 for our son's upcoming wedding rehearsal dinner. \r After much research, my husband found Forbes Island on the internet and scheduled an on-site visit to see if this would be the place of our rehearsal dinner.\r Kasey Kahn is the Banquet Manager and was the greatest pleasure to deal with. With so many details to settle and a little bit of concern to have things ""just so"", Kasey came through like a champ.\r He responded to ALL e-mails immediately,gave us thorough details about the facility & our choices and made the entire experience easy.\r On the evening of our rehearsal dinner, no one knew anything about Forbes Island (well, one out of 23) & upon arrival on the dock, everyone had their mouths open at the prospect of going on a shuttle out to the cute island we've all seen for years but have never visited.\r Everyone was greeted with champagne by Kasey and the details of so many months of planning were perfect!. We had a banquet room and were given as much space as we wanted for the evening. \r Needless to say, it was a great time for all. The food was wonderful, the service superb, and we were all treated as individuals vs. just a customer. \r This was a special experience for all of us. I realize that when you go to a restaurant, you expect good food.That we had, but the service can make or break the experience. We were not disappointed. & will not soon forget the professionalism and kindness extended to our family and that of our new daughter-in law. more

Tourist Trap 6/23/2008

Having lived in San Francisco for 30 years I had never heard of the place. We had friends who had read about it in Sunset Magazine and were visiting from out of town and wanted to go. Food mediocre at best and I found the ""captain"" a bit quirky and not in a good way...too much patter on the short pontoon boat ride over about himself instead of the City. Take the ferry to Tiburon and eat there. WAY too expensive..we could have eaten at a four star restaurant for what we paid. Beware. more

Don't even bother 5/27/2008

I want to start by saying that I am not from San Francisco. I am from Illinois and was getting married in San Francisco. This was a very small wedding so I wanted to go somewhere special. After searching through review after review I thought that Forbes Island sounded like a wonderful place to have my wedding meal. Four months in advance I booked the reservation and asked for a private room. I was told that was all I needed to do. I talked to Pierre several times during the next four months to ensure that everything would go smoothly. Three days before my wedding Pierre called me and told me that another party of people wanted to book the room I was in and they had six more people than my party did. I was told that I was losing money for Forbes Island by not inviting more people to my wedding. He then told me that I needed to come up with $500 on a credit card within the hour, otherwise our reservations would be canceled. I found them to be highly unprofessional and I can't believe that they would spring that on me three days before my wedding. He coldly canceled our reservations via text message and would not answer his phone after he called me. I would not recommend this place to anybody. more

Great Place for a Birthday dinner or on a date! 4/28/2008

I was taken there for my birthday and thought it was great its small and loks very nice the food was great!!!\r Everyone who celebrated with me loved the food. The service was also top!...I would definetly go there again! Try it!!! Pros: All of it is a Pro! more

Creative B-Day Party Place 5/6/2007

A group of girls went there for a birthday party and we had a great time. The sunset from the lighthouse was wonderful. Forbes himself shuttled us to the ""island."" He was very chatty and personable. We peppered him with questions about the ""island.""\r \r The service was good. My water glass was always full. We were all runners so keeping the water glasses full can be quite a challenge. I had the filet mignon and it was so tender I didn't need to chew. The purple potatoes were cool. The puff is a must for broccoli fans. We brought our own b-day cake so we didn't get any of their desserts.\r \r The fire place added wonderfully to the setting. I initially was a little worried about the rocking but I didn't notice it soon after sitting down. It was a clear night and the bay wasn't choppy.\r \r I recommend this place, even for girls (15-20).\r \r more

Very unique 9/21/2006

I read a review in the newspaper about this being a hidden jem. It sounded interesting and it definitely was. You take a boat out to the restaurant and it really looks like you're on a little private island. We sat in a dining part above water, but you can go below and eat by a window and look out at the fish under water which is very neat. The food was great and they had a nice wine list. Probably won't be returning, but it was a fun meal, a little pricey though to basically be eating on a house boat. Pros: unique - good steak Cons: if you get sea sick - don't do it! more

User review by suprteck 6/19/2005

I was a bit skeptical after reading some of the reviews, but to my surprise i'm glad i tried this place out. I must admit the rocking of the waves started to get to me by the time the dessert came but overall it was ok. The food was great! The filet mignon was excellent! Actually all of the dishes I ordered were very good. The price is kind of high but for that special occasion I recommend it. more

Forget it! Another Lousy Gimmick 9/29/2004

Once is enough, but I was dumb enough to go twice. Second time, I organized a small group of friends visiting from across the nation. Don't know why, but Mr. Forbes stubbornly turned away members of my group at the dock saying that neither I nor my reservation were there despite my having reminded him standing there. Same to people that called on their way. I just couldn't figure him out. His partner at the bar was just as indifferent, so it had to be intentional. Mediocre food, think frozen upscale Marie Callendar's and you've got it right. Amateuristic. Sauces and presentation lacked any semblence of flair or imagination. I really wanted to like this place, but it's exactly what everyone says...just another lousy gimmick restaurant at the wharf. Some's a barge. Anywhere else and it would be gone first week. Forget it. Warning: Cellphones don't work here. Pros: Novelty Cons: , Amateuristic Service more

Island Dining 2/21/2004

Had dinner there last Wednesday. Arrived very late but Pierre was gracious and accomomdated us without hesitation. Mr. Forbes came to pick us up at the dock with the ferry and gave us a tour of the island. The dining room was well decorated and the staff was very nice. We started with the ceasar salad and a mushroom/goat cheese appetizer. Both were excellent. The entrees were equally good. I had the Duck Confit while my date for the evening had the Corriander Crusted Ahi Tuna. She claimed this was the best piece of fish she had ever tasted. The trio of creme brulees was an excellent end to the meal. The wine list was limited but very adequate for the meal. We were able to meet the chef who was willing to share his cooking secrets. You must try this place the next time you are near Fisherman's Wharf. Pros: Cuisine, Service more

Memorable Dinning 10/21/2003

I was prepared for a ho-hum dinning experience, given the novelty of the setting, but our food was stupendous. The steak was so tasty (better than Boulevard!), and the fish was scrumptious. The flourless chocolate cake, which shows up on so many boring American bistro menus, was the BEST I have had at any restaurant in San Francisco. Yes, the ambience is a bit ridiculous (maritme kitsch), but we took in the spirit of the tikki bar upstairs--it was all fun. The staff wasn't all that expert, but warmed by the great food we were eating, it was easy to overlook their inexperince. Definitely memorable, and we will return when a special occasion merits a memorable dinning experience. Pros: Unique setting, Delicious food more

A Shipwreck in the making... 8/4/2003

Arrived just before 7:30 the time of our reservation, the table would be ready in 10 min. ordered drinks and took in the view from the deck...for 40 minutes...menus come, and we order, now it was 9:00, we were hungry...25 minutes later salads arrive, 3 salads out of 4, 5 min later she brings a plate for for our other guest, who did not order an salad, when everyone else is finished mine arrived. Dinner arrives at around 10:00, and my sauce for the fillet is so salty it's like a cow lick, as the food arrives we asked for the check thinking it would be forever to get it...they asked us if we would like the boat to wait a moment so we could catch it and you never saw 5 people run so fast to get was more like having dinner on Alcatraz or some penal colony... Pros: beautiful setting, unique atmosphere Cons: terrible service, overpriced more

Ambient Dining Under The Sea 12/9/2002

Our group of 10 people had a wonderful time dining and drinking at Forbes Island. After boarding the Tahitian Queen, we were given a brief history on the island by Forbes. Forbes and his team (Pierre the GM, Art, the Chef and all of the servers) presented an incredible meal and great service. One couple in our party even got engaged just before the entree! Through the excitement of the engagement, the Forbes Island team indulged our group, even giving a brief tour that included the kitchen and the wine cellar. Simply, this restaurant and the people who work there are AMAZING. Pros: Romantic, Great Food & Spirits, Staff is Incredible more

Lobster at my window 11/25/2002

This was a fantastic dining experience. I wish I had come earlier so i could have explored the island more. The food was fantastic, the owner is a hoot and the boat ride there and back really makes the evening complete. We sat below deck and there was a lobster clinging to the porthole window all night. more

Nemo would be proud 10/29/2002

Very unique, a master creation of a vision by the great Forbes Kiddoo. Living under the sea! Wine cellar, lighthouse, white sand beach, under sea viewing ports. A must see and dine while in the bay area. I have had many memorable days and nights on Forbes Island. Forbes is an outstanding host, exceptional food and sprits. Each part of the Island has its own unique qualities accented with beautiful wood. This must have been a labour of love to create. Mike Shoemake Pros: water taxi to Island, worthwhile tour, Forbes personality more

Great place to dine at!! 10/13/2002

Great place to dine at. The food and the views are awesome. I highly recmmend it. more

Total tourist trap and rip-off 8/25/2002

The food is mediocre at best and the service is no better. The ambience is totally contrived and silly. Cons: Poor food, Poor service, Contrived ambience more
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  • Long regarded as a premier location for first dates and romantic anniversaries, the restaurant has proven itself as a favorite for all types of special occasions. Built in 1975 as a floating home...

  • 8/20/2008 Provided by Citysearch

Additional information

  • Hours:

    Wed.-Sun. 5-10 p.m.
  • Payments:

    Discover, Master Card, Visa, American Express
  • Neighborhoods:

    Fisherman's Wharf (North Waterfront), Fisherman's Wharf, Northeast