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“Little Italy on Russian Hill”

Amarena Italian Restaurant
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Ranked #739 of 5,946 Restaurants in San Francisco
Price range: $20 - $40
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighborhood: Russian Hill
Cross street: Green St.
Transit: 45
Reviewed August 18, 2013

Among four dinners during a long weekend in San Francisco, our favorite meal was at a small "neighborhood" Italian restaurant in the Russian Hill area named Amarena. Our other meals were fun, spent with friends at more well known, larger places, but this experience stood out (not only because we approached it with open expectations). The food was seasonal, with little pretense and a lot of authentic character from our Italian waitress (she was the real deal).

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Thank Mkliegman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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58 - 62 of 100 reviews

Reviewed July 31, 2013

I grew up with Italian immigrants so I always compare Italian restaurant food with what I had at my friends' houses. It never lives up to expectations. Amarena, however, does. A small, cozy, romantic, neighborhood Italian restaurant staffed with, as best I could tell, Italians, making food that could have rivaled that of my friends' mothers and grand-mothers when we were growning up. The staff is great, the wine is wonderful, and the prices are what they should be for good Italian food. If you need a quiet, wonderful meal, this is definitel a place you should try.

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Thank lawilbur
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 15, 2013

We had a wonderful, romantic dinner at Amarena. When we arrived, we were the only ones there, and were a litle worried. However, within about 15 minutes (it was 7pm) it really filled up. We had a wonderful table and service was outstanding. Terrific food and atmosphere. We found this to be far less "crowded" feeling even with most tables full, than other italian restaurants in the same area - perfect for a romantic meal!

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Thank travelingwithboys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 4, 2013

We were looking for a restaurant for our first night in SF, and this one was recommended by our Concierge. He said of the three he would pick, there was only room left at Amarena. Of course, that isn't always a good sign. We arrived and were greeted enthusiastically by the owner. The restaurant is small, but cozy, and reminded us of a small trattoria or a small bistro in Europe. Its in a residential district which made it even better.,
The food was fantastic---especially the pasta with wild boar. The service was professional, friendly and happy all night. It was just a great place to be. IN fact, we arrived for 715 and within half an hour the restaurant was full. The owner came to our table several times to make sure everything was fine.
Definitely we would return to this great restaurant.

Thank DRT1404
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 15, 2013

This is a busy, crowded, loud neighborhood restaurant.

Our service was fair, but hardly impressive. The same with the food. We had grilled asparagus with parmesan cheese as an appetizer. It was o.k., but the asparagus was overdone. We all had the specials for entrees. My wife liked her red snapper quite a lot. Her friend and I had pork tenderloin. It was cut too thick and was a bit overdone, with the result that it was tough. We mentioned it to the server, which acted as if that is that way it goes. There are better Italian choices in San Francisco.

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Thank plainsrefugee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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