Authentic and Romantic Ristorante.
Once we stepped inside Amarena from our high-tempo city lives, we were warmly welcomed by Paolo and staff with a glass of vino at the inviting bar before the rest of our dinner party arrived.
What a bella place, with rich rustic colors, a hand-painted Italian fresco theme on the walls, and a cozy comfortable feel overall...
And the food! Delicious dishes of osso bucco (a Milanese special), pillow-like gnocchi,
Risotto al mare (with seafood), and even the bruschetta is so flavorful with tomatoes,
olive oil, and herbs. Magnifico!
Also, Amarena is available for private parties and special events. We hosted a wine and cheese event there with various Italian and CA wines, plus cheeses and Paolo's antipasti bar. People enjoyed themselves.
I recommend this restaurant for a night out romantically, as a group, or just to go for a bite after a hard day in the jungle.
Just returned from Italy and went to Amarena.It was better than Tuscany.The food is fantastic and the wine selection is affordable.I loved the Pappardelle with Wild Boar.The Host was an amazing man and recommended everything for us (wine, appetizer, dinner and dessert) and did a wonderful job!
Do yourself a favor and make a reservation at Amarena restaurant. I had a very very nice time!!
Awesome food and lovely staff. I have been living in Russian Hill for the past 5 years and Amarena has consistently been my favorite restaurant in the neighborhood. The atmosphere and the staff are so nice they make you feel like at home, and the food is unbeatable! The front dinning room has a lounge atmosphere that is perfect for a group of friends or a family dinner. And the more intimate room at the back is the perfect setting for a special ocassion or date. If not in a rush, enjoy a glass of wine before dinner at the lively bar. Absolutely recommended!
Below expectations. Like the others below I, too, had a negative experience here in the Dec-Jan 2005/2006 timeframe. Terrible service, waited forever for everything, they were clearly understaffed. HORRIBLE to sit and wait and wait and wait. I'll go back since I live in this neighborhood and the ambiance is fantastic. But I'll only try them one more time ... and not on a very important occasion ... before dissing them forever.
This past weekend, we went to this lovely, charming neighborhood Russian Hill Restaurant.
We found the food, service delightful (especially by the Italian owner, Paolo)
Do try their beet salad-Wow! The Chicken Marsala with fresh vegitables--fabulous. And my date's raviolli-yummy:) The service was unpretentiouus and attentitive; a lost art in the service industry these days...
I was impressed with the way Paolo made single diners (at the counter) very welcome as well. A must try on your list!
Good Cafe, Horrible Restaurant. This used to be my favorite restaurant in SF. Living one block away, I used to go on a monthly basis and I had great food and service. Now I realize that I only had such good service because I was the only person in the restaurant. On Valentine's Day, this small time cafe tried to be an actual restaurant and overbooked their tables. I had to wait 30 minutes to get seated, only to wait another 30 minutes before being asked what I'd like to drink. I'm truly disappointed that this restaurant doesn't know how to actually act as one. The hostess and one waiter were not willing to provide any decent level of customer service. I'm glad that I walked out on Valentine's Day. Only go to this place on an off hour when you will be the only person here.
Horrible Valentines day. Horrible Valentines day experience as other patrons will also attest to. First, we had an reservation at 8:30 and weren't seated until 9. They were way understaffed. To be honest, they had 25 tables with couples at each table (50) and only one waiter! On top of that, the waiter wasn't very polite or apologetic about the several delays. He didn't even acknowledge our presence for 20 minutes after we had sat down - no water, no bread, not even a "hello i'm your waiter". After an hour and a half of being at the restaurant, we got our appetizers. It was already 10pm and several guests had already got up and left before being served the main dish, and we did as well. No wonder they had to change the name.
Romantic Place with Excellent Food. This is an excellent place to take a date. Impress him or her by taking the Powell-Hyde cable car and getting off at Green (parking is difficult). Enjoy the leisurely pace (the bread may not look like much, but it tastes divine), try the appetizers (the fine polenta is good for sharing), and sip some wine (the sangiovese is excellent). Be prepared to wait (it's a date, remember?), but the food is worth it (the entrees offer a unique take on Italian - I'd recommend anything with their fresh porcini mushrooms or their tasty sauces). Chat with their lovely waiters (a bit slow because they are understaffed). Savor the atmosphere (great background music). A great romantic experience.
Charming Friendly Neighborhood Place.
If you are looking for a charming, cozy restaurant with great food, very friendly staff and afforable prices, this is the place. The ambience/decor is very inviting; the host/owner and staff are so nice and sincere; they will make you feel like you have known them for years.
The food is delicious; the veal shank with porcini mushrooms and the wild boar pasta ragout are just two of my favorites. The wine list is reasonable too.
Love this place. Immediately noticeable upon entering Amarena is it's warm, cozy and inviting atmosphere. It's obviously a place where friends and families chose to gather for a delicious meal. Always interesting offerings on the menu, freshest ingredients, perfectly executed preparation, enticingly presented. And the owner, Paolo, is a most enchanting host. I come here as often as I can which isn't as often as I'd like (I live in Sacramento area). I'll be back. I love this place.
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