Best Second-Story Restaurant


Second-story restaurants are rare in this town, and Poesia's location, on a noisy, grungy block just below the busy Castro, is not renowned as a gastronomic destination. But ascend the stairs and you'll be greeted by calm: rooms painted warm gold, an upholstered banquette, and tables covered in orange linen. Poetry volumes fill a shelf in the lounge, and Italian movies are projected silently on a wall. The frequently changing menu offers antipasti, insalate e zuppe, pasta, and secondi, with many of the beautifully prepared specialties coming from the Calabrian home of Poesia's owner. The pasta is made in-house, and might include exquisitely light and tender gnocchi, or delicate ravioli stuffed with puréed chestnuts. Try the artichoke cake, the roast chicken, and the pork tenderloin with mushrooms. Poesia feels like it's been transplanted directly from Italy.


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