The Waterman - Lake Norman
Everything was amazing! We went in on Mothers Day so naturally expected them to be busy. And they were! But service did not reflect that. Food came out fast, service was extremely friendly (shout out to our server, Megan! Thank you for everything!!!), drinks were phenomenal! It says a lot about a place to have both a good food and beverage program and they nailed it. Will definitely be back!
Boring, bare bones atmosphere sets the stage (I spied a single purely decorative item in the entire dining room). Lunchtime-specific menu choices are extremely slight, and the dinner menu prices are quite high given the very basic mid-casual quality of the food, service and atmosphere. If you've been to a Viva Chicken location, that's pretty much the vibe here. Waitstaff struggled to answer basic questions about the menu, interpersonal skills and demeanor also did not match menu prices. I had the fish and chips, the fish batter was good but the fish inside was mushy. The fries were burnt and generally terrible. My wife enjoyed her oysters, but her salmon taco was nothing special. Desserts are also high priced for what's on offer. For the same money spent, we could have eaten much better food, in a better environment, with more skilled waitstaff at 131 Main across the street. The South End location of The Waterman had a much better vibe and staff for the same prices compared to this location. I can't see this place lasting long unless either the prices go down or the overall experience is vastly improved. I have no problem with high prices as long as I'm receiving a commensurate value. Here I left feeling as though I did not get what I paid for in any department and wished I'd dined somewhere else.
Mixed feelings on this one. On the plus side, it's nice to have a seafood place with a variety of oysters in the area. If you like briny and clean oysters, the "house" variety that they have on happy hour special is really pretty good. Other than that - it was good, but I wasn't blown away. Would have ordinarily given a 4/5 on that. Atmosphere is so-so though, and the bar staff didn't know the oyster selection well and one of the bar patrons had to give me recommendations instead. Moreover the price point is steep for what it is, and for the location.
Ive been a fan of The Waterman for a long time and the new location didnt disappoint! We sat inside and everything is so bright and clean. The patio and outdoor seating is fantastic. I ordered the Lobster Roll, which was delicious. My husband ordered the Blackened Seafood Platter, and it was fantastic, especially the scallops! We also tried the fried oysters & oysters on half shell which were all great. One of my favorite things at The Waterman are the super fun cocktails. Ive never had a bad cocktail at The Waterman and I would highly recommend the Fish House Punch. Its my favorite cocktail. Our waitress was knowledgeable and so friendly. We cant wait to return to try the brunch menu. I do think this new location will do well by the lake.
I told the bar staff I was going to give a bad review so they wouldn't get any busier. The crispy oysters were awesome with their cocktail sauce. Best shrimp and grits in this area. Don't get put off by the wait time for a table. It goes fast.