If Al Pacino eats here, then it's got to be good. And it is.
Amarena serves the best Italian food that we have found in San Francisco. The owner and waitress were so friendly and accommodating. We make sure we dine here every time we come to this city. Try it, you'll love it!
This is one of our favorite spots in our neighborhood. The staff is always welcoming and extremely generous. We would recommend to anyone looking for delicious country Italian fare.
Amarena is a neighborhood gem, tucked away just off of Polk and Hyde streets. Sitting next to the window watching the street at sunset, I could imagine myself somewhere in Rome enjoying a lovely meal. I've been here three or four times, and each time has been consistently delightful. Highly recommended.
We did a girls night out and had so much fun. Giadia was our server. She guided us in our food and wine selection and was spot on with each pick. I had the fried veal on arugula which was amazing. I lived the wines, both the Pinot Grigio (which I usually don’t care for) and the red blend.
I should have paid attention to the other reviews. We were a Table of 5 and restaurant was full with only 2 people attending all the tables thus not enough help and staff! Food was sub par. Ordered the “special “ risotto that was undercooked among other things. I would recommend finding another place that services it’s tables well with food that is prepared as stated and expected.
We love Amarena and go often. Nine out of ten times everything works perfectly, food, service ambience meld together perfectly. This visit alas was the tenth. Service was spotty, food was good but hurried and we left saying “ that’s not the Amarena we know.” We will be back for another try and expect a rebound!
Great meal and the service was excellent. Authentic Italian food in a cozy room. I’m looking forward to going back.
We had a delightful time having dinner at this restaurant. The neighborhood is lovely, but hard to park in. We parked on Polk street and walked up one block. We were greeted with a glass of prosecco to begin our dining experience.
We started with appetizers, then onto a shared pasta dish. Our main course was sea bass and rack of lamb.
Both were cooked to perfection and very tasty. We were comfortable with the amount of food that we ordered, but did not have room for dessert.
I thought it was going to be something more special. I've been to other Italian cute restaurants near the area (Russian/Nob Hill) and this was just meh! even though the food was very good, the ambiance and the service were just fine. When I made my reservation, I wrote a note saying that it was our anniversary but either they didn't read it or didn't care. In any case, my wife and I walked out of the place just disappointed.
I have been there a number of times with family since my daughter has lived nearly by for years. I have recommended it to many, but when I brought my granddaughter and her friend and her grandmother, the service was poor, the table was average (by the door so it was drafty) and we were not given any special treatment. The couple next to us was gushed over, but we were kind of left alone. I was sorry because I had suggested your restaurant and it was a disappointment to me.
Food very salty
Too bad for the neighborhood
Amazing pasta! It's really good. I ordered the gnocchi, lasagna and also the pasta with prosciutto. Highly recommended!
Love the tiramisu also. Will definitely have dinner here again.
The bucatini can't be missed. But really like everything on the menu. Great little neighborhood spot offnthe beaten path.
Always Amazing. Great Food, Great Staff. Solid!
Wonderful neighborhood restaurant with Italian comfort food, served by a gracious staff under the watchful eye of a long standing owner. Very good value and inviting atmosphere. Take uber or walk...its hard to park.
Wild salmon was really wild silver salmon... other restaurants list their salmon as wild and then when you ask, they say it’s farm raised.
The baked portobello mushroom small plate was excellent.
The bread was good.
The wine was good.
Good choices of food. Service is excellent.
Very cozy atmosphere.
Amarena is always good, but this past weekend it was exceptional, even though it was a full house. The fish pasta dish was outstanding.
Love this place. I have been here several times with friends family and clients and the owner is always so gracious to check in on us in his very lovely Italian Charming way. Food is always great as well.
Our meal was truly delightful, excellently prepared and very tasteful on this our second time there and we will be back again.
The food is delicious, and definitely my favorite Italian Restaurant in San Francisco. Great place for vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike. The butternut squash ravioli is the best I've ever had! The ambiance reminds me of being in Europe. Will go there again!
Excellent food and good ambiance. Lovely neighborhood spot. Will go back!
Authentic neighborhood Italian. Fresh homemade pasta.
Cute place, great pasta. Good for small groups or date night
Love this neighborhood restaurant. Gluten Free pasta made on the premises. We have never had a bad meal there.
We were in town for four days for a visit and went here twice! Great food, friendly staff!
Everything was good- but missing the great factor. Table of three friends came at 730 on a weekday. The food was good: most of the pasta portions were smaller than the portions of our small plates (small plates were quite generous, and delicious!), food arrived semi-cold, and while the boar & butternut squash pastas were delicious the portion size was amiss for the price. While our waitress was kind & professional, service was good but not great, and lacked in attentiveness & follow through, particularly considering the restaurant was not full and was quite sleepy. This is certainly a neighborhood gem however, and will come back for a yummy and quiet bite for some 1-1 convo with a girlfriend.
Also note- only bubbles by the glass are moscato & prosecco 😱, but strong wine list!
The waiter-service was outstanding. But those who cleared the dishes should be trained not to remove people's starter or entree plates before all those at the table have finished eating their course. It comes across as rude rather than liberating, and it makes the person who has not yet finished feel they have to speed up.
Server was ok, non very attentive food could be hotter
This is a great neighborhood restaurant. Excellent food and the Owner is there working along with the staff. I will be back.
Wonderful service and friendly staff accompanied by delicious food and a delightful ambience. Neighborhood spot we hadn’t tried for some reason and we will certainly be back regularly.
Amarena is a delight; full of energy and happy people enjoying great food and service. The renovations earlier this year made a good space even friendlier. One of the classics in Russian Hill!
I've been here a few times for different occasions - with a group of friends and a "date night" with my mother. This place is perfect for both. The service is fantastic and the food was exquisite. The portobello mushroom appetizer is to die for and I'd order it for a dessert, too. If they ever get rid of it, I may have to hire an attorney.
The only thing about this place that I think could use some improvement is the acoustics. A few acoustic panels in each dining room could really help the noise level. It's a bit difficult to hear people at your own table, but sometimes I suppose that may not be a bad thing.
I had friends visiting from Brazil and I really wanted to show them a good time. But when we got there, the restaurant host told us that the kitchen was closing and that we could only order pasta, if we were fast. They had already shutdown the music and made no effort in accommodating us. If I knew I wouldn’t have booked a table there. I’m very disappointed and probably won’t come back.
Love this little neighborhood gem! Very special spot.
In the middle of a beautiful neighborhood of San Francisco, you will find this amazing little Italian restaurant! The food is nothing but delicious; quite the neighborhood gem and treat for those who get to live close by. If you haven't been to Tuscany, I can tell you, everything I ate tasted like I was back there. The pasta melts in your mouth and the wine isn't too bad either (seriously, a wonderful menu for this cozy spot). And, I recommend saving a little room for the dessert. You will miss out if you don't! :) All in all, it is worth the drive if you are staying in Fisherman's Wharf, the Financial District, etc. if you want a great Italian night out. I would recommend it for a date night, for couples, or for a group. You will not be disappointed!
Our only problem with the restaurant was the noise level. We could hardly converse.
A nice friendly neighborhood restaurant with good seafood. Reasonable prices.