Tuesday, 16 April 2024

Foodie Freak: A return to WaterColor Restaurant



WaterColor Restaurant and Bar

6190 Soda Bay Rd.

Kelseyville, CA. 95451



Wednesday through Friday, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Saturday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.


Since I once reviewed WaterColor Restaurant’s “Sunday Night Sushi” menu but not their regular menu, I have always planned on revisiting WaterColor Restaurant at the Ferndale Resort. I had been waiting to do it when they moved the facility to the Clear Lake Queen, but the other night when I was planning to have dinner elsewhere and that place wasn’t open, I decided to drop in on WaterColor since it wasn’t far away.

My family and I arrived fairly early in the evening and there were plenty of open tables, so the fact that we didn’t have reservation wasn’t a problem this time. We were seated immediately in the elegant, moderately lit dinning room which was set with white-clothed tables with candles, shiny silverware, and perfectly clean stemware.

I’m not a musician and have no musical talent at all, so I’m not sure if the music quietly being piped into the room was elevator grade jazz or dentist’s office grade jazz, but it gave us the giggles trying to describe it to each other.

Our waiter Danny was just the way I like the wait staff to be – there when we needed him but nowhere to be seen when we didn’t. They could do an episode of “Ghost Hunters” about him, because one moment he’s there then poof he’s gone. He never hovered over us or watched us from across the room; he just maintained an ethereal presence that made the dinner more enjoyable. Sorry, Danny, but if Holly got the nickname “Hollywood” from my last review, you are probably going to get one also.

We started the meal off with the fried calamari and rock shrimp appetizer, and my daughter gave what will go down as one of the great quotes of her life: “Calamari is the only way that I will eat squid.” We laughed and said, “Is beef the only way you’ll eat cow?”

We finally came to the conclusion that she meant “battered and deep fried” was the only way she would eat squid. WaterColor’s calamari is much lighter, crisper, not at all “doughy,” and much better than average fried squid, so much so that it is on my list to be ordered anytime I go there.

Dinner came with a choice of soup or salad and I made the mistake of ordering the salad. Not that the mixed greens weren’t good, but because I tried a little bit of the butternut squash soup that my daughter had and it was so fantastic. I recently made a squash soup at home which I was quite pleased with, but this was far and away better.

My wife and I started to joke about the scene in the movie “Once Upon a Time in Mexico,” where Johnny Depp is talking about how fantastic his puerco pibil is, and that it is so good, that it’s too good, so that he’s going to have to kill the cook just to restore balance in the world. The soup was that good. I looked at online reviews of WaterColor and even some of them made comments on how good other soups they’ve made there are.

My entrée was the “candy stripped marlin” (the misspelling of the word “striped” and a couple of other words made reading the menu part of the fun of the evening) set atop garlic mashed potatoes and topped with pineapple salsa, with a side of cooked collard greens. Danny mentioned that it is served rare but that it can be cooked through if I chose; I didn’t. Every part of the dish was extraordinary so I continued to joke that “the cook has to die just to level the playing field.”

My wife had the spinach and cheese stuffed ravioli in a pesto cream sauce. It came in a large bowl and smelled wonderful. She loved the ravioli, but towards the end of dinner admitted that the pesto cream sauce was a bit too heavy so that she couldn’t finish the whole portion.

My daughter had the rib eye steak, rare. It came with an abundance of crinkle cut French fries that looked like about three whole potatoes worth. She knew from the start that she wouldn’t be finishing this meal. She tore into the steak like the starving petting zoo vegetarian she is. She said it was the best steak she had ever had, and considering the number of times this girl eats out with me and the nonstop critiquing that she is subjected to listening to, I think I can trust her judgment that it was a very good steak.

We all ate until we were stuffed like bass on a wall and just as unlikely to move anytime soon. Even so, when we heard Danny telling the customers at another table what the desserts were my wife and daughter started making cooing noises. Of the six desserts available I was too full to even consider ordering one of them, but my wife and daughter each ordered one to go.

According to the menu, David Dalton is the chef at WaterColor and my advice to him is that if he sees Johnny Depp in the restaurant, run out the back door. My advice to anyone reading this is, get the soup.

Ross A. Christensen is an award-winning gardener and gourmet cook. He is the author of "Sushi A to Z, The Ultimate Guide" and is currently working on a new book. He has been a public speaker for many years and enjoys being involved in the community. Follow him on Twitter, http://twitter.com/Foodiefreak .

Upcoming Calendar

04.17.2024 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Free veterans dinner
04.18.2024 11:00 am - 3:00 pm
Earth Day celebration
04.20.2024 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Earth Day Celebration
Calpine Geothermal Visitor Center
04.20.2024 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Boatique Wines Stand-up Comedy Night
04.25.2024 1:30 pm - 7:30 pm
FireScape Mendocino workshop
04.27.2024 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Northshore Ready Fest
04.27.2024 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Prescription Drug Take Back Day
04.27.2024 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Inaugural Team Trivia Challenge
Cinco de Mayo

Mini Calendar



Award winning journalism on the shores of Clear Lake. 



Enter your email here to make sure you get the daily headlines.

You'll receive one daily headline email and breaking news alerts.
No spam.