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  • Poesia

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Poesia Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.poesiasf.com
  • Phone: (415) 252-9325
  • Hours of Operation: Dinner: Monday to Saturday 5.30 pm - 11.00 pm Sunday 5.00 pm - 10.00 pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar/Lounge, Chef's Table, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Takeout, Wine
  • Private Party Facilities: Poesia is a small intimate restaurant ideal for private parties (birthdays, holiday parties, company events, engagement's parties, etc) up to 49 people. There is also the opportunity to have the front room turned into a private space for a group up to 16 people.
  • Private Party Contact: Francesco (877) 824-0339
  • Entertainment: Our restaurant may accommodate up to 40 guests comfortably, with a full bar to provide traditional and unique drinks of choice. Featured on one of our walls are projected Italian films from the era of Dolce Vita, bringing us to a time of romance, passion and lively humor.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Castro
  • Public Transit: Nearest Muni station: Castro (at Market). Upon exiting Muni station, proceed one black South on Castro Street, then head East (left) on 18th.
  • Parking: Street Parking
A word from Poesia
Owned and operated by Francesco d'Ippolito, and staffed by an experienced, multi-cultured family of hosts whom are all passionate about the experience and concept, Poesia is the latest addition of authentic Italian cuisine to call San Francisco its home.

Nestled in the middle of the vibrant and colorful neighborhood of the Castro, Poesia features the finest in hand-made, traditional ingredients and pastas, combined with meticulous preparation and presentation that is second to none.

It is with every intention to give our patrons a warm, intimate experience with superior attention not just to our menu, but to the relationship we have with every guest.

Our hearty and delightful dishes will embody the passion and zest of Italian cuisine coming from the owner's home of Calabria, teasing your palette with rustic herbs and fruitful aromas.

Poesia. Italian for poetry, yet the embodiment of an experience that is so much more.
Diner Reviews
  • "we had recently seen this restaurant reviews on Bay Area check please and it receives incredibly high review marks for not only food but service and ambiance. from the minutes we walked into the door we were warmly greatest by the owner and throughout the meal he insured that the food was repair store like you. Homemade pasta sauce rich sauces and the most amazing whole roasted fish capped off our dinner. an extensive wine list with unbelievably reasonable prices. We will be back."
    Dined on 7/1/2014
  • "This is definitely a neighborhood gem. The atmosphere is Italian, the food is excellent, and they remember repeat customers and treat them as valued customers. And they have the best whole fish I have had in San Francisco."
    Dined on 6/29/2014
  • "This was our first time to Poesia. The food was amazing, the staff was friendly, and the ambiance was really nice. We will definitely go back. It's a great find."
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "Had a very nice meal and great service. the menu is small but interesting and has 3 homemade pasta dishes. started with the special asparagus wrapped in speck with buratta which was outstanding. also had the grilled calamari, perfectly cooked large pieces with a small salad. the fettucine with lamb was just ok. the sea bass in parchment paper was just slightly overcooked and suprisingly didn't come with anything but the fish. the squid ink ravoli was very good. wish we had time for desert, list looked great. pasta' very reasonably priced and a decent portion. i wish they had more pasta's to choose from. leave extra time for parking. will try different entree's next time as i'm not sure we had the best that they had to offer."
    Dined on 6/24/2014
  • "This is the gem of the neighborhood. House-made pasta is one of the reasons I keep going back. Other reasons include food delicate and flavorful as a breeze off the Calabrian coast. It's a place to fully relax and happily focus on food. It's intimate. The service is excellent; the staff warm, welcoming, and knowledgeable. I've had group and 2 person meals here. The food is unpretentious (dare I say real?); the best of Italy served up. Plus, I like the silent old films screened on a back wall and the bird's eye view of 18th Street from the sun flooded bay window."
    Dined on 6/15/2014
  • "The food was good but very expensive. Our service was not that good. Our waitress never checked to see how we were doing or if we needed anything. The noise level was so high that we just could not talk among ourselves. Basically there was one group there that monopolized the place and the rest of the tables just ate food and left."
    Dined on 6/15/2014
  • "Delicious Italian Dining. They have the best Basil Martini!!! Service was a little slow (they left us at our table for 30 min before someone came to ask us if we wanted something to drink) but as soon as we brought it to their attention, service considerably improved."
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "My husband and I ate at Poesia a few nights ago. The food was delicious. We had the grilled calamari, pasta with lamb sugo and beet salad. The service was so attentive and professional. We loved it and will be back very soon."
    Dined on 6/13/2014
  • "We really enjoyed the food: beef carpaccio, beet salad, excellent pastas and cannolo for dessert. The dining room is small but nice, with personal service. We love Poesia."
    Dined on 6/7/2014
  • "First time at Poesia. Food was excellent overall and was reasonably priced. "
    Dined on 6/7/2014
  • "If you want a creative Italian meal in intimate surroundings, Poesia is the place. I have been many times and the food has always been excellent and the service impeccable! I sqid ink pasta dishes are exceptional and the Branzino is exquisite! And you must try their version of Carpaccio."
    Dined on 6/5/2014
  • "my favorite "secret spot" to bring a date. Delicious food - friendly staff - great layout - can be a lot of fun with friends or a date."
    Dined on 5/22/2014
  • "The food was very good. The atmosphere was worth paying for! Very cute. "
    Dined on 5/25/2014
  • "Best Grilled Calamari in town! It's a MUST if you have an affinity for squid. We were licking our lips ravenous for another plate of it, when the Halibut (seafood special for that night) was set before us. If they have it when you are there, order it. You won't be disappointed. Then there's the filet mignon carpaccio! I've been to Poesia twice & am already hungering for more…of everything. Have to also mention that the FOH staff is stellar. Warm, responsive, knowledgable, unpretentious, and easily make you feel like you are a part of their incredible family. Table 10 is a treasure…the only one that overlooks 18th St, which is always amusing. Parking is hard, so I rec cab or muni. But it doesn't matter how you get there, just get there."
    Dined on 5/9/2014
  • "Everything tasted great and the service was super. "
    Dined on 5/8/2014
  • "This place is basic, food, wine, but isn't priced accordingly. Stay home if you couldn't find a reservation at a restaurant of substance. This place will not last"
    Dined on 5/3/2014
  • "My party of 5 went to Poesia on a whim the other night; we got a reservation for 7:30 on a Friday just one day in advance, which, in my experience, can be quite difficult in the city. Three of us arrived at once, and they promptly seated us – woot! I always feel awkward having to loiter in the lobby if my full party hasn't arrived yet. The service was attentive but not awkwardly so, the noise level was just fine, and the food was pretty tasty, though nothing to write home about. (I am a vegetarian and got a so-so ravioli dish; perhaps the meat and fish entrees were better.) I'll definitely come back again when I want a sweet, slightly more formal than usual dinner out."
    Dined on 5/2/2014
  • "We were introduced to Poesia by friends and have since been back multiple times, including most recent birthday celebration. Completely authentic southern Italian dishes, excellently selected wine list featuring wines not normally found on U.S. wine lists (white Aglianico, anyone?)."
    Dined on 4/26/2014
  • "Nothing was good about our experience here. We had a 6:45p reservation for which we arrived on time. We were told that they were setting up our table. Lie #1. Five minutes later, another couple arrived without a reservation. They were seated immediately. We were told that they were given an open table that was not as nice as ours. Lie #2. Five minutes after that, we were told that the people at our table were taking a long time to leave. (Thereby exposing Lie #1.) Fifteen minutes after that, we were seated at a totally different table, yet told that was "our" table. (Lie #3) Food wise, things were unremarkable. The server described a "swordfish dish" that ended up being pasta with a few chunks of swordfish thrown in. Won't be going back."
    Dined on 4/22/2014
  • "Lived in Rome for 5 years and I am frequently in San Fran for business from NY. Poesia is always on my list of restaurants to enjoy. It is authentically Italian. Ingredients are always fresh, wines are reasonably priced and high quality, service is knowledgeable but never pretentious and the choices nicely balance innovation & tradition. "
    Dined on 4/18/2014
  • "This is a really charming, cozy restaurant in the heart of the Castro that is definitely worth checking out. Francesco has done an excellent job in providing a wonderful experience for his guests. :-)"
    Dined on 4/25/2014
  • "A fantastic place, the food is creative authentic Italian. So perfect to have a place like Poesia available when there are so few around. The appetizer was amazing, we actually asked how they made it. The staff is friendly and knowledgable. The entire experience was just perfect. "
    Dined on 4/22/2014
  • "I found this restaurant randomly and I was amazed by the quality of the food. I am originally from Italy and I do not go very often to Italian restaurant abroad. Poesia was a fantastic surprise. I higly reccomend the calamari as appetizer and the tagliatelli ai funghi porcini. My husband is vegeterian and he found great options, not the "classical" ravioli with Alfredo sauce. He loved the pappa al pomodoro."
    Dined on 4/20/2014
  • "We had not tried Poesia although it has been in the Castro for about 6 years. We're sorry to have waited so long. The service was wonderful on a Friday night, and the place was crowded! It was hard to decide from the menu since we wanted to try so much, but the cocktails were great so we didn't mind taking our time. The grilled calamari salad was excellent, as was the bread and tomato soup. The pasta was some of the best I've had in SF. I had the special fettuccine with mushrooms and my spouse had the mezzaluna. We both loved our meals and certainly felt well-fed. The cannolo for dessert was Sicilian style and perfectly blended with chocolate, lemon and pistachios. It was not too sweet and every bite was wonderful! Great meal! "
    Dined on 4/18/2014
  • "We had an excellent experience here. Food was great, service was impeccable. Even when they got busy the level of service stayed the same. They do need to put salt and pepper on the table though!"
    Dined on 4/17/2014
  • " The service was attentive without being needy. Delicious tomato soup and local bread. Both the sagu and ragu were tasty, although the pasta was slightly overdone in my opimion. We were a party of two and had a nice time for a reasonable price."
    Dined on 4/16/2014
  • "Overall mediocre experience. Food not hot or ineteresingly spiced. Italian food, well prepared, is the best in the world, in my opinion, Poesia was a disappointment"
    Dined on 4/13/2014
  • "I'd been hearing about Poesia from a few different friends who told me I ought to check out the food here. Well it was worth the wait, since the food was truly excellent, but there are a few other reasons to go back as well. The owner met us at the door, and had clearly read our OpenTable reservation request, and asked if we'd want to have a seat at the bar, so he could seat us at a nice table by the window. Perfect, gracious, accommodating. The entire staff, from owner/host, to bartender, to waitress and other service folks - everyone was so kind and helpful and perfectly friendly. What a "find" Poesia is…and somehow I had a hunch that it would be just that. We'll be back!"
    Dined on 4/11/2014
  • "I went to this restaurant with a friend for dinner before a show around the corner. The staff was attentive and knowledgeable. The food selections were great. I had done research on yelp prior to making my selection for the restaurant, and, as always, yelp delivered. The drinks, soup, main courses, and desserts were all spot on. Good portions, good prices. The dining was a little louder than I had expected, but nothing that deterred from the experience. We got a seat in the corner by the window up front, so it was nice to see the foot and vehicle traffic below. Great place to catch a delicious meal!"
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "I almost do not want to review this restaurant because then it will become known how ultimately nice this place is! The location, the vibe, the service was awesome!! The food was spectacular and the dessert was the best."
    Dined on 3/20/2014
  • "Although crowded, it worked well. The food was delicious, uniquely presented, a cut above an "In" dining experience."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "Exceptional food paired with exceptional service and a stellar wine list AND a full bar. Sadly, the Castro has never been known as a dining destination and there are many examples of completely mediocre food. Poesia is definitely an exception. I look forward to going back!"
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "I live in the neighborhood, and have never been. We went in the other night and boy, have we been missing out! What a great neighborhood gem--we'll definitely be back. The service was amazing, and it's very clear that the owner truly cares about his visitors' experience. The food was awesome as well. We'll definitely be back!"
    Dined on 3/20/2014
  • "We asked our Italian friends to join us since we knew they would be better judges of authentic cuisine. Sure enough, the calamari was outstanding on all accounts. Fresh, beautifully presented, not battered and fried! The sardines were traditionally prepared (who knew) and the pasta dishes were fresh and excellent. We shared our pasta entrees so we could all sample them. Then we had to try the desserts - the poached pear was delicious and the tiramisu was very light and tasty. We chose an Italian wine to pair with our pasta and were not disappointed. As other reviewers have commented - it is like having dinner in someone's home. The owner was very attentive and the staff members were friendly and helpful."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "Special event at Castro. My wife and I w/ another East bay couple. the service and genuine welcoming from owner to wait staff, the unique, fresh ingredients of the servings, and a charming Victorian 2nd level restaurant that put you above the street noise, esp. a celebrating night in the Castro. Though I was somewhat on restricted diet, and could only order two appetizers, and had to cancel one, the owner was so gracious and accommodating in his response. Would I recommend or return, Absolutely!!! Please for my comments to the owner."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "Tremendous attention to detail. Menu was nicely edited for locavores and thoughtfully and carefully executed and then served with a professional and friendly staff"
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "We were 20 minutes late, but that was no problem at all. The food is great, friendly and professional service and nice ambiance!"
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "This place has a lot of charm. It has been great for both going out for dinner with my family and for dates. I find the staff very approachable and friendly - it has the feel of a family restaurant. Also the drinks are amazing."
    Dined on 1/12/2014
  • "I thought the restaurant was very nice and the Staff were extremely nice and helpful. My only critique would be that there was not enough pasta dishes on the menu. Other than that, We had a great experience."
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "Food was all bland and disappointing. Really expensive for what it was!"
    Dined on 3/6/2014