Poesia
Poesia

Poesia

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.poesiasf.com/
  • Phone: 4152529325x
  • 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 8778240339
  • 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.
Continued
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Poesia reviews from OpenTable diners
109 reviews since May 24, 2014
Overall Rating4.3
  • Food4.3
    Service4.5
  • Ambiance4.3
    Noise LevelModerate
90% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (87)fit for foodies (56)romantic (49)special occasion (46)notable wine list (24)good for groups (22)hot spot (9)kid-friendly (6)vibrant bar scene (6)late-night find (5)scenic view (4)great for outdoor dining (3)great for brunch (1)great for lunch (1)Show More
  • Excellent food, service & ambiance
    ParastooVIP
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • $20 corkage and great service
    Magnamosa
    Dined on 6/24/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • not great
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • always a pleaure
    sfEater
    Dined on 6/15/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicioso!!
    Anita08
    Dined on 6/14/2014
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Poesia
    JoanNVIP
    Dined on 6/13/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great experience
    asutt
    Dined on 6/7/2014
    First time at Poesia. Food was excellent overall and was reasonably priced.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Lovely place!
    ErikaSFVIP
    Dined on 6/7/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always Good and Never Disappoints
    SFFoodie
    Dined on 6/5/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great atmosphere
    Care
    Dined on 5/25/2014
    The food was very good. The atmosphere was worth paying for! Very cute.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 59 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 24, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.3
    • Food4.2
    • Ambiance4.3
    • Service4.4
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 836 reviews are from the Poesia reviews archive.
  • delicious and friendly
    secretlove
    Dined on 5/22/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Treasured Eatery!!
    ComeAndGetIt
    Dined on 5/9/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • It was great
    FredThePlumber
    Dined on 5/8/2014
    Everything tasted great and the service was super.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • BASIC
    sfound
    Dined on 5/3/2014
    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
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Lovely for a small group
    charlotteinthecastro
    Dined on 5/2/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Romantic, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Has quickly become a favorite
    doddwine
    Dined on 4/26/2014
    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?).
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Romantic, special occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A real neighborhood gem!
    SFGreco
    Dined on 4/25/2014
    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. :-)
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Romantic, special occasion, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fine Dining in the Castro
    Chris
    Dined on 4/22/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Romantic, special occasion, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • "Dining Out for Life" Disaster
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 4/22/2014
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Italian gem in the Castro
    josephv
    Dined on 4/20/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Good for Groups, Romantic, special occasion, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Comfortable place and great service
    KenAVIP
    Dined on 4/18/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, special occasion, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Love Italian
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 4/18/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Romantic, Late-Night Find, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Dining at Poesia
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 4/17/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    Good for Groups, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • awesome local value
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 4/16/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Overall mediocre experience.
    joey
    Dined on 4/13/2014
    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
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Well Worth the Wait
    TimFoodySFVIP
    Dined on 4/11/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • great dinner from the 2nd story
    dlefty
    Dined on 3/29/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Quite special
    Out2Bexcited
    Dined on 3/22/2014
    Although crowded, it worked well. The food was delicious, uniquely presented, a cut above an "In" dining experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best restaurant in the Castro
    Gregory
    Dined on 3/21/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Experience
    TheHungryJuan
    Dined on 3/20/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Pleasantly surprised
    oregonduckbradVIP
    Dined on 3/20/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food, excellent service
    Jane
    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
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Charming, welcoming, unique food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • St. Pat's Day Saturday Celebration
    JanieG
    Dined on 3/15/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Love the food; great service!
    Dutchies
    Dined on 3/14/2014
    We were 20 minutes late, but that was no problem at all. The food is great, friendly and professional service and nice ambiance!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • I thought the restaurant was
    JBonzani
    Dined on 3/8/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointing
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 3/6/2014
    Food was all bland and disappointing. Really expensive for what it was!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Memorable eating experience
    sfeater
    Dined on 2/28/2014
    My friend & I get greeted automatically by the owner as we walk in. Our table was not ready yet, so we got escorted to the bar where we had an amazing pre-dinner drink. Our table was ready quickly & service was great & knowledgable. Food was delicious. Wine selection is fantastic & the owner come to check up your experience. I want to go back.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious!
    EMBEEVIP
    Dined on 2/28/2014
    The service from the bar to table was excellent. The food was delicious! We enjoyed a long meal without ever feeling rushed. It was very noisy so it made conversation difficult at times but I still enjoyed it and would return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great spot
    Paula
    Dined on 2/25/2014
    I enjoy Poesia every time I go there. While the food wasn't amazing this time, it was good and the service is always great - attention but not too much - perfect balance. My favorite still is the beet salad, mmmmm!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.