Amarena
Amarena

Amarena

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.amarenarestaurant.com/
  • Phone: 4154470441x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 5:30pm - 10:00pm, Friday & Saturday: 5:30pm - 10:30pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Executive Chef: Davide Cogliati
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Beer, Entertainment, Happy Hour, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Takeout, View, Wine
  • Private Party Facilities: The restaurant is available also for Private Parties (lunch time) everyday. Please contact us 7 days
    in advance for large parties.
    Thanks very much.
  • Private Party Contact: Paolo Galli 4154470441x
  • Special Events: Happy Hour at Amarena Restaurant Every other Thursday from 6.00 to 9.00 let Paolo treat you to a free, traditional Italian Antipasti buffet and a lot of Pasta made with different regional recipes while you sip on a glass of wine, beer from the bar.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Green St.
  • Public Transit: 45
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: There are three pay parking lots in the area: One at between Green and Union on Polk St. Another is on Polk between Broadway and Vallejo and the third is on Pacifica and Polk Street.
A word from Amarena

We are offering a 3 courses happy hour pre-fix menu for $29.95
everyday from 5.30 to 6.30 and on TUESDAY ALL EVENING!!

Amarena is a chic, urban neighborhood hideout perfect for dates, a quick bite, or a casual dinner with old friends. Amarena delivers hearty, innovative and skillfully prepared dishes from the first course to the last.
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Amarena reviews from OpenTable diners
59 reviews since July 3, 2014
Overall Rating4.2
  • Food4.2
    Service4.2
  • Ambiance4.2
    Noise LevelModerate
92% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (47)fit for foodies (27)romantic (25)special occasion (19)notable wine list (13)good for groups (13)late-night find (3)hot spot (3)kid-friendly (3)great for lunch (1)scenic view (1)great for outdoor dining (1)Show More
  • Authentic hidden gem
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    Amazing authentic food/staff/decor! Definitely going back and bringing friends!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • High energy and excellent food
    KentuckyVIP
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    This was our second visit to Amarena. In our minds it suffered by comparison to nearby Frascati and Stones Throw but this visit convinced us that Amarena can hold its own with their neighborhood rivals. The place was full on Saturday night but the service was excellent and the food (including a magnificent grilled pork chop and a chocolate desert) was both hearty and sophisticated. Wine pours were generous. The noise level was fairly intense but we had a relatively quiet table and coped with the noise. If you are looking for an authentic Italian dining experience in Russian Hill with good energy but a dash of sophistication try Amarena.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • nice night
    garyVIP
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    I thought our appetizers were the best - all 5 of us had pasta and it was good but not over-the-top delicious.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Off night for service?
    Crabcakes
    Dined on 10/3/2014
    While the staff were friendly enough, the service made for a very disappointing meal. We were lucky to catch a glimpse of our wait staff and desperate for their attention. Salads and entrees were very slow in coming. Empty salad plates sat idle for 15 minutes and entrees took over 45 minutes. We waited so long for our food that we asked for refills of our bread and water. The bread didn't come at all; the water was refilled when we begged for the check. Too bad -- the location and the interior of the restaurant are very nice. And the food is pretty good, although very tardy. But it's hard to think about coming back given the slack service.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Nice place
    bluemoontaster
    Dined on 9/25/2014
    Filet of sole entree good! Below average calamari.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Love Amarena
    yummyVIP
    Dined on 9/24/2014
    This is our date night or special occasion spot. They always remember our faces and make us feel at home.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • great neighborhood spot
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/22/2014
    Amarena is a great place to meet for a drink and bite to eat in the neighborhood. Paolo always has a smile for his guests. The small bar gives a chance for folks to gather and chat before the meal. Food is consistently good.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Simply fantastic
    TheGuysfromSantaFeVIP
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    We were looking for a nice italian meal on a Saturday night in SF and we found it. Great neighborhood atmosphere, owned and operated by a wonderful italian family. Ambiance is hip and fun, not your Gandmothers italian. Great wine selection, start to finish very worth the walk from our Hotel in Union Square. Go and enjoy.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delightful!
    SunFlower
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    We came in as a group of 6. Great service, attentive- and delicious food. We are always happy with the wine list. Love this Russian Hill gem.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • NICE NEIGHBORHOOD RESTAURANT
    CaptEric
    Dined on 9/15/2014
    Had a pasta disch that was fantastic, nice wine list with fair prices for Italian wines. Interesteing "grotto " feel.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent service, lively scene
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008VIP
    Dined on 9/11/2014
    We loved the experience but found the sauces to be a little heavy - delicious but just a little heavy for us. Will go back but perhaps order something a little lighter.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • BigBiteVIP
    Dined on 9/11/2014
    Vastly overpriced for profoundly mediocre Italian cuisine.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent in every way!
    BosTon
    Dined on 9/7/2014
    Loved this lovely neighborhood place. Block off Hyde. Staff is very friendly and welcoming. Food was fantastic and beautifully plated. Will return next time in San Fran and will highly reccomend.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food and ambience
    foodie
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    Was pleasantly surprised by the restaurant and food- will definitely be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent
    Kruk
    Dined on 9/4/2014
    been there many times for special celebrations and just because. food is consistently excellent. owner Paolo greets all guests. wait staff freindly and attentive
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Birthday Celebration
    Sugar
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    We celebrated my husband's 65th Birthday there on August 28th, 2014. We live in the neighborhood & have eaten at Amarena often (usually with a reservation as I'm a planner) & it's not huge. Each can be set up for a table of 8, though with notice they could be amenable to rearranging the room that is down only a few steps. .--- particularly love the ambiance/decor, relatively quiet yet inviting. Our service has been outstanding (typically by true Italians) though we're somewhat regulars --- we have a favorite waitress & Paulo is unfailingly gracious. Our 4 year old grandson has dined at Amarena at least twice. . . Amarena is a gem in my book.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food, service and ambiance
    Dozarian
    Dined on 8/26/2014
    It was a quiet Tuesday at Amarena, but it picked up a little bit when we were leaving. The service was great and they were very attentive to our needs. We were on a double date and 3 out of the 4 dishes were amazing. The gnocchi was the only dish that was not great, as it was bland and really didn't have much taste to it. Overall it was a great dinner and the restaurant is just off the beaten path of polk so it was a great find.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • A special place
    Medi
    Dined on 8/13/2014
    When visiting San Francisco which we do two to three times a year we always make the trip to Russian Hill for dinner; the food at Amarena is fresh from garden to table, well prepared, and innovative, along with an amazing waitstaff. Don't be dissuaded by the off the beaten path location it clearly is a GEM within the city. Eggplant is always outstanding for a starter, super tasty salads, and the marsala is outstanding; ENJOY!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Messy
    francescaVIP
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    I love italian and amarena has a nice menu with many italian classics. the staff is italian as well (host and server at least) so I had good hopes. but it turns out to be heavy in general and heavy on cream in particular. the tagliolini with mushrooms were below average. the lasagna was as well. lamb was good even though the sauce was not. we left without dessert. it's a north beach type italian and it's not my thing.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great neighborhood spot
    pinknarfVIP
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    The ambience was great, evoked a romantic night in Italy! The food was on point--everything tasted delicious. The service was friendly and attentive. I'd definitely recommend!
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • JHawkVIP
    Dined on 7/21/2014
    We had a great experience sitting at the bar and the recommendations were spot on. However we went there for meatballs and turns out they removed them from the menu!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Friendly neighborhood bistro
    dinerdeliteVIP
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    We enjoyed a lovely beet salad, and lamb chops, that with a bottle of wine hit the spot on a busy day. We recommend Amarena.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious, authentic Italian
    rachelsf
    Dined on 7/17/2014
    I took a friend here for her birthday. She studied abroad in Italy, so I was excited to take her out to Italian. She was impressed by the menu, and got the pasta with clams, which she says is very common in Italy but hard to find in America. The food was rich and delicious, and the restaurant was very pleasant.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 36 ratings-only reviews submitted since July 3, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.3
    • Food4.3
    • Ambiance4.3
    • Service4.3
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 441 reviews are from the Amarena reviews archive.
  • Authentic but...not
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    We were greeted by a fabulous host who showed us to our seats. We ordered a bottle of wine and dinner. I had butternut squash ravioli per recommendation of host and my husband had the homemade pasta with the wild boar. The sauce of his dish tasted just like grandmas (who is NOT Italian) and I quickly asked for cracked pepper as there was not very much flavor to my ravioli. Fairly inexpensive but the food wasn't amazing so I guess you get what you pay for.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good food, nice quiet meal
    Cate
    Dined on 6/26/2014
    Food was good- nothing incredible, but certainly tasty. Portions are good size- not too big as in some Italian restaurants. Service was good although it took quite some time to get our check. Have a nice wine selection, but if you're a beer drinker, they only have two not-well-known choices.
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Sugar
    Dined on 6/25/2014
    I love the ambiance ..... The food is generally quite good, though I tend to order the same thing. The service is usually well- paced, Paulo & the servers are very friendly, though it was a little slow the other night. We have taken a group including our grandson & it worked out, but I wouldn't really recommend it as a kids' place.
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Quaint neighborhood restaurant
    jasong955
    Dined on 6/14/2014
    Went there for dinner with another couple. Ambiance was really nice, noise level was not too loud so could easily hear each other. Food and service were great. Small place, which is also nice.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • first time at Amarena
    NorthOaks82
    Dined on 6/13/2014
    Took my girl here after a comedy show at the Palace of Fine Arts on a friday night, as we both wanted to get away from the heavy north beach crowds. Excellent service, great wine selections, friendly staff, and a nice atmosphere for a quiet romantic dinner. Would definetely come back!
    Special Features:
    romantic, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Really great place to dine!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 4/26/2014
    Ever since we first discovered this wonderful restaurant, we were drawn to come back - in spite of the difficult parking situation in Russian Hill! The food is outstanding, the welcome and service is superb. Whatever we ever ate there was really, really good.
    Special Features:
    Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Rare gem in Russian Hill
    QueenB21VIP
    Dined on 4/23/2014
    Service, ambiance and culinary delight led by the owner, Paola - what can I say but "fabuloso"!
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Romantic, special occasion, Scenic View, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent
    GScott
    Dined on 4/5/2014
    I was blown away. I eat at nice places frequently and more and more it seems all facade and very little substance. Amarena had it all and I will certainly be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Amarena made my wife's birthday!
    Soops
    Dined on 4/4/2014
    We really enjoyed our experience at Amarena. It was my wife's birthday. Our waitress and the entire wait staff made it special. The food was really good. I'd like to say excellent, but that would be hyperbolic this close to North Beach. Not that I expected it, but they didn't comp the dessert on her birthday.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Hand made pasta fresh daily
    DTWM
    Dined on 3/25/2014
    A very solid menu in the Southern Italian tradition. Wild boar, pastas in great sauces, and extensive appetizer list.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Uninspired
    Astyanax
    Dined on 3/20/2014
    The osso buco had obviously been cooked days before and was barely warm. The cucumber salad featured huge thick chunks of cucumber. I would not return.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Neighborhood gem
    JL8888VIP
    Dined on 3/15/2014
    Had dinner for a party of 8 on Saturday and we loved everything - food was delicious (seafood fettucine!), service excellent, and the staff was so incredibly kind. Will definitely be coming back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Solid Yummy Dinner Spot
    AngelaVIP
    Dined on 3/15/2014
    I really enjoyed my pasta dish and the service and ambiance are good. Wine wine and a shared salad it was a bit more expensive than we planned. We'll just have to remember that for next time.
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Romantic neighborhood restaurant
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 3/14/2014
    Something different from the current trend of bare-bones, wooden tabletops, and formulaic service restaurants in the polk street/russian hill neighborhood. White linen and moderate noise level allow for conversation at the table without resorting to shouting. Service was very good with entire wait staff making sure that water was filled and dishes brought out in a timely fashion. The housemade pasta was excellent. The tiramisu was also excellent and served in a slightly different way with additional espresso on the side. Will certainly return if I want a relaxed place to eat and converse with friends.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good overall!
    ValUVIP
    Dined on 3/11/2014
    The portabello mushroom appetizer was amazing. It was the star of the show despite the two other yummy meals I shared with a friend.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Amazing Italian spot, close to home
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 3/4/2014
    The food was delicious. From the wine to dessert, unbelievable.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Ok if you live in the neighborhood
    Kevin
    Dined on 3/1/2014
    Everything was "ok" but nothing was so good that I'd go back. Food was fine, but not a big menu. Service was slow and not so friendly - we got no welcome or told of specials, just "are you ready to order". Kinda pricey for the portion size. If I lived in this neighborhood I'd maybe go a couple times a year, but not worth a drive from elsewhere in the city or out of the city. The Bruschetta appetizer was good but only 3 teeny little pieces of bread.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate