532 Columbus Ave, San Francisco, CA | Directions 9413337.800033 -122.409606
Daily 11:30 am - 4:00 pm Sun-Thu 5:30 - 11:00 pm Fri-Sat 5:30 - Midnight
Neighborhoods: North Beach, Northeast
A North Beach standby still delivers the Italian goods. – The Scene
Columbus Avenue gets its fair share of tourists and this North Beach institution, with its exposed wood beams and sleek design, is no exception. A wood-burning oven roars away at the center of an open kitchen, while white smock-clad servers scurry around the multiple dining areas providing warm, if perfunctory, service.
Make no mistake--the olive oil-drenched antipasti are the highlight of the meal. In high spring, plates include bright-green fava beans speckled by cubes of soft pecorino; sashimi-like tuna crudo with crunchy shaved artichoke salad; and grilled rabbit livers wrapped around skewers of fresh rosemary. Main courses spotlight seafood, with more than five varieties prepared in several ways, from roasted with fennel to braised with a spicy tomato broth.
Overpriced and mediocre food – I have been to Rose Pistola twice - once in November, 2001, and once in October, 2006. The first visit was lovely; the second - not so much. The restaurant was barely half full, so service wasn't an issue. Our server was very nice. My boyfriend and I ordered the calamari and the lamb chops as main courses, but no appetizers. My wine was very good, but literally less than ten minutes after we ordered, we decided to get an appetizer. We asked our waitress if we could order an appetizer, and she said she'd have to ask the chef. Well, our main courses were already ready! Don't get me wrong...I'm grateful we didn't wait all night for our food, but we were literally in and out of there in under 45 minutes. My boyfriend's calamari was the cheap appetizer quality, not a calamari steak, and let me just say my lamb chops were just average. The total bill for two main courses and one glass of wine was around $96.00, which is ridiculous for mediocre food. We didn't even stay for dessert. There are way too many great options in North Beach to waste your time and money here.
Worst experience in sf – I went to this place twice, didn't intend to go the 2nd time, but couldn't say no. Both times I was very dissapointed with the quality of the food. Service was ok and ambiance was great, but as far as food goes, it's the worst you can get in sf, or at least that was my experience. Don't even remember what I ordered, nor I want to. Save your $ and go to another italian restaurant in the hood.
WoW! – I am blown away by the negative reviews for the Rose Pistola.
I have been dining there since the beginning. The menu changes daily, and the selections are a gastronomical delight. Sure the staff changes almost as much as the menu, but that's the restaurant business. What I have read suggests to me that some of these folks have dined at the Rose Pistola on nights when it's so busy that server really can not afford to stand and chat for five or more minutes. I have witnessed on many occasions , people who think that they are the only ones in a restaurant, and the server is their pesonal servant. Remember folks, you are not the only ones in your server's section, typically there are at least 14 others that need attention too.
As far as the wine list goes, there are many selections for under $40, I have wine every time I'm there and that is typically what I spend. I've never had a server push the big sell on me. I usually explain what I like, and the servers usually will offer me selections in at least three different price ranges.
If you feel like your service is not up to par, or the "bread boy" tosses bread on your table and mumbles to you, maybe you should ask yourself, is this really what's going on? or, am I impatient?
I eat out at least 4 nights a week, and two of those are usually at the Rose Pistola, and I have to say that most of the people I see that have problems are the ones who are inflexible. They want fettuccini alfredo with a chicken breast, and that's all they will have. Well, the Rose Pistola does not work like that. There are 50 other Italian restaurants in North Beach that make all of the typical Italian fare. If you want chicken parm, go to one of those places. If you want something unique and delicious, try the Rose Pistola, try something different for once, you may be pleasantly suprised.
Overrated, overcrowded and overpriced! – What a disappointment! I am new to the SF area and went here on a recommendation from my "relocation expert." The service was terrible and stuck-up, the food was mediocre at best and the prices were too high for the quality of food served. I would have been better off with a bag of penne and jar of Ragu. We have had many great meals in SF so far and this is at the bottom of the list.
I can't believe this place can survive in SF – From soup to nuts, this place is horrible. Having experienced hundreds of restaurants in SF over the years, it's amazing how something like this can survive. Starting with an impossible system to make a reservation, a waste of time. A group of five went there. We brought a bottle of our own wine. As soon as the waiter realized he wasn't going to make a bundle, we were totally ignored. Having gone to the restaurant at 7:30 we weren't served until 9:30. Our orders were confused. And nobody knew what they were doing. The manager had no control over the kitchen. It was a nightmare. I had the lamb chops. I would have been better off sticking with the stale fococcia they served in the beginning. More filling! PASS
Love it! – Rose Pistola is one of my all-time favorites. I've been there on dates, business lunches, dinners with friends and out-of-town guests and I ALWAYS walk away feeling glad that I came.
The setting is lively, service is great, the staff friendly and the menu interesting. The wait staff is always knowledgable and willing to make recommendations. The iron skillet mussles, the farinata and the carpaccio are some of my favorite antipasti. The cheese stuffed focaccia with truffle oil and chanterelles is to die for...a treat that is true, authentic Northern Italy! From their sea Bass with roasted fennel to their Osso Buco, ingredients are fresh and food is flavorful and delicious. Fantastic wine list as well.
Lovely and Delicious – Rose Pistola is one of my favorite restaurants in the city with that classic San Francisco feel. It's right in the heart of North Beach, just around the corner form Washington Square Park. The interior is warm and inviting. It's got a huge, comfortable bar where they also play Jazz from time to time. Great for drinks with friends or a casual dinner. The food is fantastic. Last time I was there, I had the Quail wrapped in Fig which was incredible. Also, The Truffle Ravioli is to die for. Their pizzas are a great starter. The signature dessert is profiteroles.
Always fun & fabulous – Over the past few years we've been here several times and have never been even slightly disappointed by the service, the extensive wine list or the wonderful northern Italian cuisine. The atmosphere is warm & inviting; all of the staff from the hostesses to the bartenders and the servers are always friendly, helpful and very knowledgeable. Every time we have special guests to entertain, this is always our first choice restaurant because we know it will be an enjoyable experience for everyone. Rose Pistola recently celebrated their 10th anniversary, and that's a long time in the restaurant business, but there's a good reason for its longevity and popularity. Check it out for yourself and you'll see why!
great service! great food! – My favorite thing about this place (besides the requisite yummy yummy food) is how nice everyone who works there is. I have lived here for 13 years and I never get tired of it. The valets have a sparkle in their eye, the bartender treats you like you've been coming there forever and generally everyone makes you feel very welcome. A true italian welcome! I recently sent 3 clients here. I called ahead to make a reservation, asked that they get a little extra attention if there was time and wah la...I had 3 very happy East coast clients. I highly recommend this place to out-of-towners and locals alike!
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