I am sorry to write this review. I had an engagement in San Francisco, and Ernesto's was in the neighborhood. I made a reservation, which was confirmed. I had given my phone # and permission to text. When I arrived at the time of my reservation, June 22, 2017, at 7:00 there was a note taped to the front door that the restaurant was closed due to an illness. I have owned a restaurant and I know unexpected things can occur. What really bothers me is that I wasn't notified about the closure. I waited almost a month to post this, and, to this day, I haven't even received an apology. I was looking forward to this dinner, but it wasn't to be. I wound up eating at a food truck.
Owner/ chef Jimmy was out sick (with aneurysm) since 5/30/17 (so says the note on the door)
Did NOT dine there for Father's Day and went elsewhere after reading the note on door.
Friendly and reliable neighborhood Italian restaurant. Service staff know the customers and are knowledgeable about the menu. The menu covers the standard list of Italian favorites with daily specials. The wine list selection is very good, too. I would definitely recommend Ernesto's to anyone looking for excellent food at affordable prices. Good ambiance!
Loved this quaint Italian restaurant on Clement street. Wonderful attentive waiter, delicious food and amazing Tiramisu!
Average. Fairly good service, but not creative or particularly memorable food.
Frutti da mare was fantastic. The specials were really good too.
Greeted merrily at the door. Excellent attention. Delicious Salmon meal, bottle of wine and classical music. Not pricey, nor pretentious but welcoming and a lot of thought was put into the menu.
I have been going to Ernesto's for over 30 years, first at the old place and then at the newer location next door. While the new version is not so wonderfully funky as before, the food is just as great. The veal saltimbocca is to die for. The service is friendly, efficient, and makes he place fun to go to. That latter quality being critical to dining enjoyment.
This is a nice traditional neighborhood restaurant, but nice enough for a date. You can hear the other people at your table! The service is excellent and the pasta is great. They also have some daily specials that sound tempting as well, but their pasta is good. We tried the sautéed calamari appetizer this time in lieu of the fried. It was really good and I would get it again. Had the pasta with the shrimp which was great. Don't forget the dessert - we had the spumoni pie at the end. Delicious and definitely one to split.
Great neighborhood Italian restaurant. Went on a rainy night - very cozy and had perfect calamari and delicious pasta. Nice selection of non-pasta dishes as well, which were very tempting and next time may try those. Everything prepared well and there was a nice selection of pasta preparations. Reasonably priced too. A real find.
I use to eat at Ernesto's in the 80's when I was a child. It use to be the place to go for dinner, the food was amazing and there was always a line out the door. I use to order the Chicken Parmesan and the Wedding Cake for dessert. I was sad to see the Wedding Cake was not on the menu anymore. I decided to have dinner at Ernesto's because I was in the city that day and only 6 min away from where I was. I wanted to see if it was still as charming and wonderful as I remembered, but unfortunately it wasn't and I was very disappointed. The servers were hard to understand and quite rude. The person behind the bar was hitting a bag of ice with a wine bottle to break up the ice, which was disruptive and very loud. The servers kept closing the door which gave off a huge loud metal on metal bang sound, it was so annoying! Sadly, I would not return.
Excellent prawn pappardelle entree! Warn & cordial service!
I have been here several times and each time has been a good experience. The food is delicious and reasonable. A great neighbor restaurant.
We got there early when no one else had arrived. The waiter kept chatting with us, but wouldn't (didn't) take our drink order or our food order. Then a large group of local clergy came in and he ran over to tend to their needs. We soon realized that he was the only waiter, and the busboy didn't speak English. Just as he was walking to our table, a group of eight rather large local fellas came in, and he fell all over them. They had their food almost at the same time as we finished finally ordering. Then a local couple came in, and they tried to chat it up with the waiter, but he was seriously sweating by then. When we at last got our food, it was barely average. It was the fresh fish special of the day, but it didn't taste fresh or special. Definitely wouldn't return. ps - their wine list is sub par, and triple the price of retail.
Food took an hour to come out and was (no surprise) cold. It was also (surprise) bland.
Excellent service and good, though not great, food. I will definitely eat there again.
Ernesto's is an institution and often over looked. We have been eating here for 20+ years and have never been disappointed. The service is outstanding, the wine is wonderful, and the food is not to be missed. We always order the clams appetizer and are never unhappy with the choice.
The wait staff is fun and funny, attentive with out hovering, and always helpful with options.
I can not wait to go back.
I have been going to Ernesto's since 1988. I was excited to share the dinning experience with my 9 year old after Mass up at USF yesterday. The three of us walked in at 6:15PM for our 6:30PM reservation. Only four other tables had been seated and one of them had some USF alumni who gave us a warm greeting. Doug, the gentleman who waited on us, is a nice fellow and obviously is a favorite of the regulars. He just seemed like a nice person. Now for the bad part...we were seated at 6:20PM we ordered at 6:30PM our appetizer and salad came out at 6:35PM and then nothing for over an hour (we are talking pasta and fried calamari). The three tables that were seated behind my wife and daughter, were seated 30 to 40 minutes after us and they all got served their salads and entrees prior to us getting our entrees. So much for a relaxed Valentines dinner. I've never done this before but I finally had to get up and leave prior to receiving our final of three entrees at 7:50PM (the calamari never made it to the table and the first entree landed at 7:40PM and the next (for my wife) came at 7:50PM. Just an overall terrible experience. I don't know what the kitchen was doing and why, if they missed our order, they wouldn't have moved us up in front of some of the other tables to get the food out to us. Just plain unacceptable to serve me first (an hour into our sitting) leave my nine-year-old daughter and wife without a plate of food...meanwhile everybody else who came in after us was getting their food simultaneously and having a good dining experience. This is sad because I really was looking forward yto going back to the Ernesto's experience that I was used to. I will probably never dine there again because of the experience my wife and daughter had… With all of the other opportunities to go to good Italian restaurants, in The City, Ernesto's has dropped way down the list.
Great service. Excellent Italian food. Highly recommend.
Ernesto's is a great neighborhood gem! We have been dining there for well over 20 years, but over the course of time we're noticing that the quality of both food and service are slipping and the prices rising to once was a restaurant you could enjoy as a casual meal out to now becoming more of for special occasions only. My favorite dish is Chicken Ernesto's and their pizza is fabulous!
I have been dining at Ernesto's for 23 years and have never been disappointed. We moved to San Diego, but still eat here every time we visit. Always excellent!! Thanks Ernesto!
Waiter was very patient and friendly but I think he was the only one serving the whole (small) restaurant on Christmas Eve so we had to wait for a long time before we could even ordered. Food was good overall.
A great dining experience - food was superb, wait staff friendly, even charming, at a incredibly reasonable cost. My entire dinner party, four ranging from 15 - 24 were absolutely delighted. It's really hard to delight those guys. Go here for a wonderful dining experience.
Ernesto's is truly a little gem of a restaurant! The host/waiter Doug immediately puts you at ease and feeling welcome. The prawn and artichoke pasta special was out of this world, fresh and delicious, with tender prawns and lovely artichokes, mushrooms and tomatoes. He brought a birthday dessert for my friend one the house, an excellent tiramisu! I definitely recommend Ernesto's to anyone who loves good food in a delightful setting!
This was my second visit to Ernesto's Italian Restaurant and I wish I had found it years ago. It was easily one of the best meals I've had in a very long time. This corner neighborhood place served me one of the best pieces of Scottish Salmon ever! The fish had a beautiful grilled crust, and was served on a bed of perfectly cooked fresh spinach, accompanied by a good size wedge of polenta covered with a mild, but tasty tomato sauce. While I started the meal with a cup of very authentic minestrone, and several slices of tender garlic bread, I didn't think I'd finish my whole entree. But it was too delicious not to eat it all! My friend and I each had a glass of very good house wine, and at only $7 per glass, we felt we got a bargain. The service was spot on, no rushing, but attentive at all times.. I will definitely make many return visits to Ernesto's!
We celebrated a birthday last Sunday at Ernesto's. There were six at our table. We started with the fried calamari. It was how it should be, crisply fried, not rubbery and served with lemons and plenty of cocktail sauce. Four at the table had the Salmon and they raved about it. Two of us had the pork chops served with a sweet and tangy relish. We were very pleased with the pork chops. Doug, the head waiter was attentive and warm and good humored. The service was top notch. We had an enjoyable experience.
Parking was quick and it wasn't crowded at 5pm. Our waiter was very welcoming, friendly and attentive. The free garlic bread was a nice surprise. The good was delicious...caesar salad, calamari, fettuccini Alfredo, linguini and clams red sauce, and our favorite chicken rigatoni. The fresh blueberry bread pudding and spumoni ice cream cake was yummy! Definitely will be back. ;)
This is a wonderful unpretentious eat resturant, friendly hosts behind that Say Hello to the Chef Jimmy. The rest of the evening,Enjoy. Double thick Pork Lion if your Lucky. Cheers
The poached salmon was incredible. The atmosphere, sweet! You can have a conversation. Fresh flowers. Maurice was our waiter and we loved him.
Came here from the south bay, based on a referral from a friend who's a long-time SF resident. Food was very good - the six of us each had something different - and the wait staff was funny and attentive. Great atmosphere, too. We'll be back!
This place has a tired SF feel; food Lacks quality and presentation. The waiter thinks he is a bit of a comedian which he is not. Nice guy but too many superlatives of food that is not superlative. The special was east coast salmon. It was poached poorly. And was dry, which I think you have to try to do! The sauce did not make it any better. Salad was ok but when we asked if we could have the Caesar salad without anchovies, he lectured us in them always being in the dressing no matter what anyone says...please!
Outstanding couipled with great tasting food at a reasonable price makes Ernesto's one of our favorite restaurants. If the blueberry bread pudding is available, pls. make sure you have room for this delicious desert!! The only drawback is the parking situation in and around the restaurant which can be difficult depending upon the time for dinner.
Ernesto's is a nice neighborhood restaurant with great food and nice service - I'll definitely visit it again if I'm in the area.
As usual we had our favorite waiter Doug. Our guests love his humor keeps our dinner conversation going.
We had an excellent meal at Ernesto's The food was delicious and the service was 10 stars out of 5!
We had a group of six people who usually don't dine together so this was a special occasion since I did the picking of the restaurant. The waiter, Doug, was so great. When we dine here with our children and grandchildren, he keeps the kids amused and that makes the parents happy! The prices are reasonable. The service is slow since they cook each dish individually but it's worth it.
We celebrated a birthday there. The waiter was excellent and was very entertaining. Definitely will return.
Doug, our waiter, had provided excellent service, and one highlight was the introduction of the chef. There were 4 of us, and all loved their food except for my difficult to cut eggplant. The wine list is very good and the warm olive oil bread served was fantastic. We certainly will dine there again.
Great food, exceptional customer service, reasonable priced menu, easy parking.............what more could you ask for????
We've been going to this restaurant for twenty five years! We still love it! The calamari sauté is yummy and the bread given free is always hot and lightly spiced with herbs. The entrees are so good and we love bringing out of towners here. It's wonderful to have such a quality restaurant in our neighborhood.