We were lucky to have found a new resturant in San Francisco. We live about 75 miles from the city and were meeting a friend from Italy and she suggested this resturant. From the minute we walked in the door we felt comfortable. We were greeted by Ashley and Lucca with great personality. They served Procesco while we looked over the menu. The appetizers were wonderful. The salmon tar tar was very flavorful and delicious.
The entrees were plentiful and delicious also. But the "best for the last" was the chocolate souffle....OH MY GOODNESS .....it was wonderful.
All in all we had a wonderful experience and can't wait to come back and see everyone again. Next time we can maybe meet Paolo. Ashley and Lucca, thank you for a great dining experience.
(Maybe we can get Sara and Daniela to move to SF.
Worst dining experience of 2007.... As a person who lives just doors away, i had been planning to try this restaurant since moving into the neighbourhood. I was delighted when last minute, on Dec. 30th, I was able to secure a reservation for 4 for New Years eve off Open Table. The experience was a disaster. When we arrived, there was a crowd at the front door. We had a 7.30 reservation. There was no one greeting people as they arrived or indeed taking any control over the ever increasing flow into the restaurant. Almost 50 minutes after arriving we were finally seated having waited very graciously. The food was absolutely appalling, a bland starter of procioutto was served to the table, this was sadly the best part of the mean. I had the risotto which was luke warm and semi hard from old age with was tastless and tough. Main course was the Oso bucco which I could have sewed to the sole of my shoe and run a marathon on, it was the fattiest most disgusting piece of meat I'd every been served in a restaurant. I could barely even cut it and it went untouched as did the same course with everone else at the table. At that point the bill was placed on our table without the desert that came with the 'fixe prix' let alone asking us if everything was ok or if we wanted coffee. Upon coffee enquiry we were informed by the Manager that the machine was broken and there was another party waiting despite the fact we hadn't even finished our meal or drinks and had been seated so late. He was rude and pushy and for this lovely experience we all left $115 per head lighter. I eat out most nights of the week and the area has so many great places, I was hoping to add Amarena to the list but frankly the whole night left me with little cheer. We all left hungry and upset. Save your hard earned $$$ for a place that at the very least treats its customers with a bit of respect.
A dissapointing New Year's Eve dinner ....
The moral of my Amarena story is, "If you have high expectations based on Yelp and friend's reviews, never, never visit on New Year's Eve for a prix fixe meal." The short of it is, the procioutto appetizer was bland and ravoli with wild board bolognese lukewarm. The food uneven ... I tried my GF's octopus appetizer, and then an extra plate that was brought to the table after the kitchen sent out a two salad dishes with wilted greens (with apologies of course); while my GF's octopus was delicious and left me wanting, the second go around dropped me flat on the ground. Sometimes experiencing food is like seeing a highly rated film, you give into the reviews and set your expectations high, but you may at times be disappointed ... very disappointed ... Unfortunately, this was our night of disappointment with Amarena. Even our friends who live around the corner from Amarena, know the owner, and have dined there frequently, were left unsatisfied.
It might have been better to settle for a cup of espresso and the Salame al Cioccolato, and then call it a night.
So, the moral of the story, never set your expectations high for NYE prix fixe dinner. Don't worry Amarena, you might have me for a second kiss, as I do wish to try that gnocchi with sausage everyone is all a chatter 'bout.
Approx. eight weeks ago, my wife & I and another couple took a one week special vacation to San Francisco.
We wanted to celebrate my wife's birthday with a special dinner. The concierge at our hotel recommended Amarena. Our meal was very good. We ordered dessert and it was served with a dessert wine.
Unfortunately, the waiter spilled the tray containing the four glasses of wine in my wife's lap, soaking her and her leather purse in wine.
We laughed it off at the time and left. The most disappointing thing is that no one at the restaurant offered to pay for the cleaning of the damaged goods.
The next morning, I informed the hotel concierge of the incident and he offered to contact the owner of Aramena for some type of resolution. I left our contact numbers and e-mail address. He said it would take about three days before I would hear anything. The concierge told me that he or the owner of Aramena would contact us.
Over eight weeks have passed and no word from anyone. It is my impression that we were looked upon as temporary tourists and the incident would be overlooked.
Granted, we were just tourists, but this issue has left a bad taste with us. Hopefully, someday, we will visit San Francisco again, but we will not be eating at Amarena.
Cozy & Friendly. I have been to Amarena about 4 times in the past 4 weeks -- twice for dinner, once for drinks & once for their Happy Hour. Each time my friends & I were greeted promptly & seated immediately. Everyone enjoyed dinner. I in particular liked their burrata & their special linguine with sea bass. The staff, including waiters/waitresses & bartenders, have been exceptionally friendly & helpful. Their Happy Hour, every other Thursday, is a great deal. Though there are no drink specials, there is a free buffet which includes salads & pastas from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. The owner, Paolo, seems to be very popular amongst the regulars.
Rude owner, slow service, average food.
The food here is average at best. I had the veal and it was tough and fatty, and they were out of various other items on the menu. There are so many better choices in the neighborhood.
The service was incredibly slow. In fact, it took over a half hour for them to take our order, and the restaurant was less than half full. Then it took another 45 minutes for our food to arrive, after we had to reorder because they were out of several items.
When we mentioned to the owner that the service was slow, he kicked us out, saying, "never come back". Based on the poor service and food, his wish would have come true without this atrocious behavior, but now it is guaranteed.
Editorial Review by Citysearch Editors. Pastas, meat entrees, antipastas and more Italian fare served in Russian Hill restaurant.
Simply a pleasant spot. Unpretentious and charming (in Italian way). Always cheerful yet not loud. They will make you feel welcome and comfortable at once. And then the wonderful meal, the wine and the desert... my favorite is Osso Bucco.
Excellent non-typical Italian food. Here is finally a great place where you can get great Italian food with a twist, not the typical tris di pasta/pizza salami mix. Excellent atmosphere, very reasonable prices. Anything on the menu is good! I love the Gnocci. And if you like Tiramisu, have one here as well. Parking is a disaster, as anywhere in Russian Hill, so take a cap or share a ride. Great for a dinner with a bunch of friends as well as a first date, not too intimidating but a very comfortable atmosphere. Enjoy!
Sneak away to Italia while in SF.
Amarena is a great place to sneak away for a long Italian dinner in SF. Get out of buzzing downtown and the hoity toity trendy nuvo places and spend 4 hours with Paolo and his great staff to unwind. You will feel as if you are in Italy...within seconds sipping a great Italian wine, eating antipastas.
I guarantee once you go...you will be back often.
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