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Published: Thursday, 6/9/2011

Riverside patio beckons on the Lost Peninsula

Webber's Waterfront Restaurant at 6339 Edgewater Drive, Erie. Webber's Waterfront Restaurant at 6339 Edgewater Drive, Erie.
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EDITOR'S NOTE: This version corrects that the restaurant received 4 stars in its rating.

Destroyed once by wind (1965's Palm Sunday tornado) and twice by fire (in 1936 and 1984), Webber's Waterfront Restaurant has been rebuilt three times by the two families who have owned it over the last 78 years.


Location, location, location.

At the wide mouth of the Ottawa River just a few yards into that odd scrap of Michigan called Lost Peninsula (about a 30-second walk from Point Place), the patio stretches into docks, and it's as pleasant a place to dine outdoors as can be found. My advice: on a balmy weekday, arrive early and claim a table al fresco (it's first-come, first served and gets crowded). Order a beverage and study the water and all manner of small watercraft that putter past as the sun slides into the picturesque far banks.

With a setting like this, Webber's could serve cardboard (smothered with melted cheese, of course), and I'd be happy, but food (standard fruits of the sea and the requisite cow, chicken, salads, sandwiches) and service are fine complements. A three-star restaurant in a five-star spot, it's open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday at 4 p.m. and at 1 p.m. Sundays. Its season is spring through fall.


* * * *

Address: 6339 Edgewater Dr., Erie.

Phone: 734-723-7411.

Category: Casual.

Menu: American.

Hours: 4 to 9 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 4 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 1 to 8 p.m. Sunday. Reservations are accepted, but seating on the waterfront patio is first-come, first-served.

Wheelchair access: Yes.

Average price: $$$.

Credit cards: AE, Dis, MC, V.

Web site: webbersrestaurant.samsbiz.com.

Inside, many of the tables have views, but window tables only accommodate up to four.

We launched one meal with the crusty-coated chicken wings appetizer ($7.99/thoroughly ordinary) with a tasty white sauce. Worth coming back for is the wild-caught coho salmon ($19.99), delicious and broiled to perfection with a creamy dill sauce (ask for tartar if you prefer tang).

Broiled tilapia ($15.99) and Lake Erie walleye filet ($17.99) are also recommended, as is the juicy and tender 12-ounce prime rib ($18.99).

Three modestly sized crab cakes ($19.99) were a tad oily and a bit bland but took on personality with lemon juice (lime might be even better). The broiled shrimp and scallops ($18.99) were small but succulent in a buttery bowl.

The chef makes a couple of desserts, but we tried a big piece of dark-chocolate cake ($4.75) that was rich and suitable to sharing with the whole table.

Most dinners come with a potato or vegetable (the lightly-grilled green beans were good), and cole slaw or pickled beets (we mixed them up and they're a surprisingly good combo).

The cost of your evening will add up if you order items you may assume come with the entree (even with the big-ticket fish and steaks), such as a salad ($2.50), thin sweet-potato fries ($2 and not as good as regular fries), sauteed mushrooms and onions for steaks, cheese, and even sour cream.

In addition to 10 seafood items (lightly breaded, flash fried, or broiled), the menu includes grilled chicken breasts, steaks and prime rib, five sandwiches, and eight salads, only one of which is sans chicken or fish. The kitchen makes no accommodation for vegetarians.

Note: A lineup of live music begins at 3 p.m. every Sunday through Sept. 25. Also, the online menu does not include prices and needs updating.

Contact Bill of Fare at: fare@theblade.com

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