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The Waterman

Recently, we tried The Waterman, a recent entrant to the SouthEnd food scene and cousin to Sea Level which is located Uptown. Situated on one end of the newly-redeveloped Sedgefield Shopping Center along South Blvd, just south of Remount Rd, the two-story building includes a rooftop terrace where one can enjoy great views of Uptown.

The Waterman describes its menu as classic seafood dishes, Southern inspiration, and new spins on old favorites. Their seafood is sustainably-sourced and they have a constantly changing array of in-season oysters from which to choose. On the night that we were there, most of the varieties ran from $2-4 per oyster, which are served on the half shell. If you go from 4:00PM-7:00PM Monday through Friday, you can get them for $1 each. Several restaurants such as Hi Tide & Rock Salt are running similar happy hour specials.

They don't take reservations, but you can be added to their waitlist via their website or by using Yelp or the Nowait apps. This is what we did, since we went on a Friday night. Generally in CLT, it seems that 7:00 PM is when restaurants get busy. But our friends, the Healeys, got to The Waterman at 6:30 and there was already an estimated 20 minute wait. That wait turned into more like 40 minutes. We were told that it was because we were a party of 4, but that’s not a large party for most restaurants to seat. However, The Waterman has a fair amount of community seating. It seems that we are seeing a trend in some of the new restaurants in offering this type of seating. It’s a more efficient way to seat more people in the same amount of space.

To the restaurant’s credit in this case, two appetizers showed up at our table within 5 minutes of our being seated compliments of the manager, Scott. He came over to apologize for our having to wait longer than expected. Now, that’s a touch of class. Any business that treats its customers like that earns our respect.

With a full (and physically large) bar, there are plenty of options for those who want something alcoholic. We settled on some craft beer and wine to go with our appetizers and entrees. The appetizers, to which Scott treated us, were the Boo Fries and Crawdaddy Dippers. The Dippers were fantastic.The fries, plenty for 4 or more people, were hand cut with cotija, crawfish, scallions and drizzled with crawfish gravy. Cotija is a hard white cheese made from cow’s milk which, if authentic, comes from Mexico. It was named after the town of Cotija in the Michoacán region and is only produced from July through October due to the particular grass that grows in this region which the cattle eat. That rich grass gives the cheese a unique color and flavor.

For entrees, Kristi ordered the Waterman Salad with grilled shrimp. Beth had the fish special which was fresh NC Snapper served with a Beurre Blanc sauce. Chris had their Salmon with a citrus herb butter and a side of delicious roasted broccoli. I had the Fried Oyster Po Boy and a side of Coleslaw made with red cabbage. Kristi, Beth, and Chris liked their choices a lot. I’ve had a lot of Oyster Po Boys in my life, and I would say that this version was just okay. But given the atmosphere, the diverse menu selection (if you like seafood),and the good service, I would go back and simply order something different next time.

We love to hear from our readers when they try one of our Foodie Review spots. So, let us know if you go to The Waterman!

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