The Bluewater Grill in the historic boathouse mirroring the Hotel del Coronado is a gem in Glorietta Bay’s crown.
Its ambiance is more than sweeping views of the bay, bridge and town. It’s more than the casual nautical feel, luxurious warmth and pet-friendly perk. It’s one of those special dining experiences that could be a vacation delight, date night extravaganza, simple treat or perfect solution to event planning.
Relatively quiet since the pandemic, the restaurant has reopened with a healthy freshening up, bustle and hustle — carrying on the Del’s je ne sais quoi, former inhabitant Chart House’s prestige and Coronado vibe.
In 2014 the Bluewater Grill Coronado location opened in the boathouse and today provides up to 40 varieties of sustainable seafood and shellfish, often serving Pacific swordfish and providing other varieties caught by the company’s Pilikia fishing vessel.
The boathouse also offers a full bar featuring local wines, beers and spirits; an outdoor, over-the-water dining patio plus upstairs bar and dining haven; event space, history and the invigorating while welcoming feel of a coastal clubhouse complete with friendly gang.
We sit down to an indoor window view, sturdy paper menus as well as starched and rolled cloth napkins I want to have as some sort of throw pillow, and we immediately start decompressing from the organized chaos of work and young children.
Burnished wood gleams as well as clean white walls and paneling — and the lighting as well adds to the cozy, elegant cheer. This charming boat feel may not take us anywhere but I still expect we’re about to embark on a relaxed yet bougie adventure.
We choose the High Spot 14 Mile Pale Ale as well as a cucumber mojito at the server’s suggestion, and boy is she right. Flavorful yet strong and ideal for a lazy summer start to the meal. We order an appetizer too, and soon after comes a blue-plated loaf of delicious sourdough bread and butter — which becomes a meal highlight.
“This is good bread,” my husband remarks and we laugh at how we’re definitely not the fanciest people.
Going for the ahi tuna poke makes us die-hard salmon lovers consider changing our loyalties, fresh and smooth and flavorful this ahi. (We overhear a nearby table order calamari but it seems so popular they’re out.)
Ordering the main course, we pick the Justin cabernet sauvignon from Paso Robles and the Acrobat Pino Gris special to pair with our surf ‘n turf approach by selecting the New York steak and Alaskan halibut.
The steak is made richer with blue cheese butter and the Alaskan halibut is crusted with walnut and orange. Lemon capers sprinkled on top of the halibut make certain bites sing. Both plates come with asparagus where you can eat almost the whole stalk and scalloped potatoes which is a fine change-up from the typically mashed side.
Thinking we’re full but not wanting to miss dessert we split the key lime pie again at the server’s mention. And we melt. It’s an absolute fireworks finale.
The manager on duty, who talks about the evolution of the menu to its best and architectural or design features, is also kind of enough to take us on a tour where we discover more glimpses of this storied building.
Read more about the restaurant’s community involvement with local nonprofits and exciting Second Tuesday Tastings plus other offerings, as well as the Bluewater family of seafood restaurants. You can also get further information about the Coronado location and explore Bluewater Grill’s sustainability program.
Don’t miss stopping by to enjoy the quiet upstairs bar or making a reservation to slide right in for your boathouse ride.
Bluewater Boathouse Seafood Grill
1701 Strand Way, Coronado
Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 11 am – 9 pm (lunch and dinner)
Happy hour Tuesday-Thursday and Sunday from 3-6 pm (bar and patio only)
Guests arriving by boat can use the guest dock at the adjacent Seaforth Boat Rentals on Glorietta Bay for a nominal fee.