Time and time again, the Poesia experience continues to exceed expectations. The authentic and fresh fare, creative craft cocktails, exhaustive wine list, and exceptional service are to be noted and celebrated.
Poesia is great for special events, and for a weekly visit :)
Grateful for Francesco and his team :)!!
Started the evening by seemingly being forgot about by the host after checking in, followed by an uninspired and overpriced starter ($10+ for two small crostinis), waited over 45mins for our entrees which included overcooked & gummy pasta and bone dry chicken w/ over salted brocolini, followed by having to hunt someone down for our check and getting a unneeded and slightly snarky comment from the staff person when we expressed our disappoint. Considering you can throw a stone in any direction in SF and hit a great restaurant, I'd recommended avoiding Poesia.
Excellent Italian food. Everyone we experienced were all Italian and very personable. Went two nights in a row.
A bit loud for a friend's catch-up. Nice decoration, and friendly staff. Got an authentic Italian feel. Was not impressed with the food.
Poesia did a fantastic job looking after our large party. The food and drinks where great, and the staff attentive.
Yum yum yum. I’ve been to this place many times...always great food; can be a bit noisy, but I love this place
This was our 4th or 5th visit. The food is excellent and the rapport between price and quality is very good. We were able to have a nice conversation at our table, without hearing the conversations of others. My out-of-town guest specifically requested a return to Poesia, and he was glad he had: the quality has been consistent over time.
Just wanted a nice dinner with my wife. We love eating great food but can do without the sometimes "pretentious-ness" of some nice restaurants. The staff was fun...they all seemed to pitch-in to check on us from time to time. The prices were reasonable considering the great quality and great tasting dishes. We agree that we discovered the perfect place for more "dates"!
Always a most excellent meal and and enjoyable experience.
Great food as usual and great waiter, we love Poesia!
After all the hype I've heard about this restaurant we made reservations for our anniversary. The decor was not at all uplifting (old portraits of people hanging all over the place), front windows were open and it was quite cold out. We ordered a arugula salad which was delicious! The bread and spread to put on it was good. We ordered chicken breast cut in cubes with turmeric and some other seasonings. It was a mushy, indifferent dish with not much flavor. The broccolini was over-cooked and the side dish was fairly innocuous with some type of creamy/cheesey sauce. We couldn't tell what it was supposed to be. There was nothing at all that was special about this entree. For the price, the chef could have been more creative and made the chicken dish stand out. Perhaps toasted almonds, apricots, raisins... something to wake up the flavors?
There was a couple with an infant at the bar which was crying on and off for the entire time we were there. The wait staff was attentive but I would have told them how disappointed we were with the dinner but they didn't seem to be very concerned about our meal except to deliver and the food and give us our check. Over all, two thumbs down. Onwards and upwards.
Great service, food and atmosphere. The projection of classic Italian films is always a fun touch!
Good food and service. They show old italian movies (with sound turned down) on the wall.
Appetizers were excellent and chocolate mousse was very yummy.
We love to go to Poesia whenever we go the Noir City film festival at the Castro theater. Poesia is a neighborhood gem and the food and service are always wonderful. Our only complaint is that the tables are very tight for my poor big husband and he gets uncomfortable sometimes. Otherwise, its a star.
I had a great time! Didn't enjoy my meal as much as my friends did. I should have gone with my gut and ordered the filet mignon or eggplant vs the waitress recommendations which was the pork-pasta. Cauliflower was amazing though! I will absolutely go back for those other dishes! No doubt! :)
Great food (we live in North Beach and eat a lot of Italian, so we know what we’re talking about) at very reasonable prices. This was our second time at P. Unlike the first when it was near-empty and quiet, this time it was jam-packed and so noisy we had to lean forward and strain to hear one another speak. We also had to wait longer than we liked for our order. But the server/sommelier was extremely apologetic and even brought us a bonus appetizer. We plan to return, maybe just not on a Thursday night.
This family run restaurant is always a pleasure to visit. The food choices are a flavorful presentation of some authentic Italian cuisine. Presentation is upscale and very appealing to look at when served. The portions are generous, and choices are available for every palate. Fresh and local ingredients used to prepare the dishes, and the staff is very helpful in explaining menu and providing choices if asked about recommendations. Ample wine list to pair with choices, and full service bar. This time the noise level was energetic, and it was very hard to have a conversation with my friend and even the staff. Usually, the noise level is lower and you can carry on a conversation. I really enjoy the overall experience when dining here for dinner.
Great Italian food right around the corner from the Castro Theater with its own Italian cinema to watch (and add dialogue to) during dinner.
❤️this neighborhood restaurant. Authentic tasty Italian food.
Loved the coziness of this restaurant. Food is delicious: the grilled calamari are to die for and so is the polenta with mushrooms. Portions are big enough and the price is reasonable. Five stars also for the service. It’s good to see that there are still some unpretentious good restaurants in SF.
Poesia offers a respite from the hustle and bustle of the Castro. Located upstairs in a renovated townhouse on 18th Street, the restaurant focuses on fresh Italian cuisine paired with wine. We are always greeted and seated quickly once inside. The interior is cozy, with candlelit tables, soft lighting and a rotating film projected silently onto the largest wall. The only hiccup came when our plates were cleared after less than an hour and our female server brought the check while we were still finishing our beverages. She then returned a few minutes later and opened the bill it to see if payment was inside (it was not since we were still finishing our cocktails).
Delicious pasta and roasted vegetables. Tasted like we were actually in Italy. Shared a fabulous cannoli for dessert. Highly recommend!
I felt that I was in Italy! You can stay long time for dinner, just take your time and enjoy a great as italian people do! The food is absolutely delicious
We are regulars but tonight the service wasn’t so courteous and felt rushed. The food was not up to their usual standards. We nonetheless left a decent tip but were not even greeted when we left
Got the carpaccio and lamb fettuccine and really enjoyed the food. Overall, I really enjoyed the meal and the ambiance. Only downside was that drinks took a little long to be served.
Food was bland, service was slow. There was so much oil on my salad it was inedible. Don't get the house wine, it's terrible. Our server was very charming but she had too many tables.
WOW! As always, Poesia did not disappoint. Tonight I had the squid & trout ravioli with a glass of the house white (happy hour), and my taste buds died and went to heaven!! The complex textures and flavors of the house made ravioli were beyond words.
The ambiance is charming. This place is truly a neighborhood gem. I will be back and I will continue to introduce my friends to this great little spot.
Nice, quite, with a neighborhood feel to it. We shared 5 small dishes among 3 ladies, which were more than enough. With a total bill of $100 - it was good value for the money. Would definitely recommend the calamari salad, the cauliflower dish and the cheese/meat platte. We really didn’t like the potatoes & eggplant fries (tasteless) and the bread pudding cake ( too sour and wet).
Great food and drinks. We've eaten here four times and every meal has been excellent. The happy hour drinks and appetizers also make this a fun, inexpensive spot to drop in for a drink and a quick bite.
As always, terrific food and excellent service made for a lovely date night.
Every New Year’s Eve, this is our restaurant of choice. Always a treat.
Appetizer of chopped cod was disappointing—bland. SeaBass was excellent but served with too many Brussels Sprouts. Tiramisu was excellent.
One of the best in the Castro. I plan to go back again and again.
Efficient service. Lively environment. Scrumptious food.
Fun and lively Christmas Eve dinner. Service & food were outstanding.
What a great place for a holiday get-together the entertainment was amazing and then music was fabulous. The dancers were incredible.
Waiters are amazing. Food delicious, too!
Poesia never disappoints! I've been there for first dates, last dates, good and bad dates. No matter what, you'll always feel taken care of, entertained, and well fed there.
It's in the heart of the Castro, which was fun. The food was great. The setting was lovely. It's not a quiet restaurant, though.
The Miracle on 18th Street. Poesia is in the heart of the Castro. Unbelievably, among the traffic congestion and double parked cars, we found a legal parking space – directly in front of Poesia. Truly a miracle of Christmas!
The restaurant is upstairs. I did not see a lift anywhere, yet the single toilet is ADA compliant. This was once a residence. Interior is comfortable, though seating can be cramped. They chose to play a movie (sound off) on one wall. I had my back to it, others in our party did not seem distracted.
Service was better than most restaurants. Attire is casual. At 7pm on a Friday night, the place was packed. Wisely, we had a reservation and were seated immediately.
The ladies loved the Branzino bass. The Dattei dates added to the enjoyment of the meal. The Polenta e Funghi (mushrooms) was average. My Pasta Nera (calamari and shrimp noodles) was tasty, but overly spicy hot for my New England taste buds. The Tiramisu was gigantic while the chocolate mousse leaned towards smallish – both were delightful. Prices are to be expected. With wine and side dishes the three use ran up a tab over $200 (before tip).
Bottom line: we whole heartedly recommend Poesia. Get reservations and expect parking from Hell in a city that doesn’t like autos.