Horrible Service - Very Unprofessional. I have eaten at the restaurant a few times now and have not been overly impressed with the food; however, my last experience was enough to keep me from ever setting foot in the restaurant again. I went to the restaurant with a friend of mine this last Sunday and the place was dead (only two tables taken when we walked in). I politely told the hostess that we were only going to be ordering desert and maybe a bottle of wine or coffee. She replied that we have to sit at the bar if that is all we are ordering. No problem I thought ? we walked over to the bar area and sat at a high top table just next to the bar (can actually see this in the picture they have on this site). The hostess rudely approached us and said we were not allowed to sit at the high top and that they have ?rules that need to followed?. I politely asked if all the tables were reserved and if they were planning on having a rush of people to which she responded ?rules are rules? Moral of the story is that I walked out and I do not plan on returning. If the restaurant was full I could understand (and even then feel it is wrong) but seeing how it was empty I feel as though it was a very bad play on their part and definitely not handled in the right manner. There are much better places to visit in this City.
Rose Pistola -- A North Beach Must.... What a great place to eat! I was there on a Saturday night and really enjoyed the Jazz. I happen to be a Spumante fiend and truly enjoyed the Ca? del Bosco ?Brut? Franciacorta, Lombardia. We started with the Iron Roasted Skillet Mussels and Ahi Tuna Tartare with Green Olive Tapenade & Grilled Ciabatta as appatisers. Then we had the Mixed Grill for Two, which is a wonderful combination of Tai Snapper, Calamari, Mussles and Whole Shrimp. Then for desert you cannot miss having the Brown Sugar Corn Cake with Blueberry Basil Sorbetto & Fresh Blueberries -- it was out of this world! For really GREAT service please be sure to ask for Jen -- she really makes this place ROCK.
Rose Pistola a Great Dining Experience!. This is only my second review online. In my last review I stated that Terzo was one of the best eating experiences in my 80 years in SF. Well, Mike over at Terzo recommended that I visit his wife here at Rose Pistola. Sorry Mike, I think I have to ammend my previous statement. I've got to say that Jen at Rose Pistola was the shining star of this place. Her knowledge of wine and cusine was highly impressive. If she wasn't already taken and I wasn't swinging the other way... I really had a great evening. I followed Jen's recommendations all the way and enjoyed everything! Lauri, the owner sure knows how to pick her staff! I'm definitely coming back! If you don't ask for Jen when you visit Rose Pistola you have no one to blame but yourself! Thanks Jen!
Love, love, love it. Love,love,love it. I'v eaten there many times and The food is always great (super fresh & authentic) the servers are always friendly and knowledgeable. I would recomend it to anyone that likes "real food' or would like to try real italian
Extremely disappointed. My wife and I chose a late dinner to hopefully enjoy the live music while we dined. But the noise level in the building was so high, it was impossible to hear the band. Besides that, the service was poor, especially the bartender who continued a conversation for roughly five minutes while I waited to place my order. The food was average at best. Prices are way too high for such average food and service.
Disappointing. I had been to Rose Pistola's a few times in the past & thought that it was very good. Last night I took my fifteen year old son to the restaurant expecting it to be the same as it was in the past. Let me tell you that it was not! 1st, I had a reservation when most people were just walking in and we were seated at one of the worst tables in the house. I am of Italian descent and specifically Ligurian which is the type of food that they profess to serve. I ordered the Farinata for an appetizer which is made from Garbanzo Bean flour. It has a mild and slightly nutty flavor, when done properly. It wasn't, it was burnt to the point of not being able to taste anything but the charcoal. For our entrees, my son ordered the Osso Buco & I ordered the whole grilled sole. Osso Buco is veal shank which comes with a rich, deep sauce. The meat was over done to the point of being stringy and tough. They put Arugula on top which had a vinagrette dressing that was so acid that it actually overpowered the sauce and changed it's character, (it should of been dresed lightly with olive oil). As an aside, this dish traditionally comes with polenta but they took the easy way out and served it with mashed potatoes. The grilled sole was done well but then they laided it in a bed of greens they were covered in a lemony broth that ruined the crispness of the sole, again overpowering the delicate fish. My son had a diet Pepsi with a refill(which they charged for) and I had one glass of wine. The bill was $92 which I expected to pay but charge for one refill of soda? The wait staff are all young and as far as I could see were all girls, which were all standing around the kitchen talking to each other rather than being attentive to the customers. All in all, the whole experience was just horrible and I wouldn't recommend this place to anyone. As an aside, this is my first review of a restaurant. I registered onto Citysearch because of how horrible this experience was and just had to vent.
Fantastic service, great food, huge wine list!. Our server was very friendly and knowledgeable on the wine list. He suggested a fantastic Barolo for under $100. If we had been thin skinned, our meal might have been ruined by the 10 people ranging from ages 8-108 sitting behind us. They demanded his attention, claimed to be ready, then made the poor guy stand there and answer 100 questions, on top of wanting to change every order from what was printed on the menu. Through all of that our server still dealt with them in such a pleasant manner. I don't understand why people go out to a nice restaurant and demand that the restaurant cooks the food in a way other than the menu suggests. I understand allergies etc... but just not wanting to try something different is not a good excuse. STAY AT HOME if you want to do that. Food Great, Service Great, Wine Great,
ok. We came here after work for some wine and a light dinner and found just that. Although our watiress was not knowledgable at all on the wine list which was somewhat annoying because the list is quite extensive. We had a few appetizers, all were tasty. The place is pricey, but has a nice atmosphere, but would have expected better service overall from the decor, attitude and price of the place. Had a nice time.
Kid Friendly. Made an early reservation in mid January for a party of 4, including my almost two year old son. Although we arrived before the kitchen opened, we were graciously invited to wait at the well stocked, comfortable bar. The bar staff was friendly, courteous, and professional. At dinner our server, Natasha, provided assistance with entree choices and wine selection. Her recommendations did not disappoint. My osso buco was very good, and my dinner companions were pleased with their lamb chops. Appetizers and desserts were also very good. The service was excellent. While Rose Pistola is not the place for your child's birthday party, we experienced no difficulty about our son, even after he became cranky. Of course, we did dine early, before the tables became exceedingly busy. This is a marvelous restaurant in a hopping area of San Francisco. It was on the expensive side but worth it.
Reliable fallback. I like the fact that you can order food here late, though it will be a limited menu. Good- not great- Italian. You don't get good house cured sardines everywhere, and the very-thin-crust pizza is very very good. The octopus is shockingly overcooked, even for Italian. Portions could be a bit more generous, and I'm not into humongous meals.
A North Beach standby still delivers the Italian goods..
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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