1315 Grant Ave, San Francisco, CA | Directions 9413337.799057 -122.407349
Monday To Thursday From 05:30 PM To 10:30 PM Friday To Saturday From 05:30 PM To 11:00 PM Sunday From 05:00 PM To 10:00 PM
Neighborhoods: Northeast, Telegraph Hill
Terrible Experience – I recently was on vacation in San Francisco with my fiancée, and brought my Lonelyplanet SF guidebook to find the best sights and sounds around this great city.
Ideale Restaurant came highly recommended by LP for a real Italian experience, so we went along to this restaurant for a mid-week night out. Upon arrival we found that the menu prices were quite expensive, but when on vacation - this was not really a problem!
We ordered and ate most of our meals and, to be completely honest, we found the food extraordinarily boring. It lacked much of the Italian flavour that we had expected. Our table waiter was not very attentive and in summary, this restaurant certainly did not return the value or experience we expected from the price tag. We were disappointed with the quality of the food.
The waiter collected the check payment and we were to get approx $40 in change. When we received our change, we decided to give a generous $4 gratuity to express our dissatisfaction with the food and service in this establishment. We left Ideale Restaurant, and to my complete and utter shock, our table waiter came running out onto the street after us screaming: "guys, you need to pay 15% tip minimum, where is my 15% tip??" I looked at him as he stormed towards me and I was about to explain why we only left a $4 tip when he crunched the $4 up into a ball and jammed it into my hand and walked off. He walked off back in the door of Ideale, and to my utter dismay, he called me a f*cker with his back to me. This appalling language, attitude and behaviour of the restaurant waiter compelled me to write this review.
I have travelled to many cities in US, Europe, Asia and Australia and I have never ever experienced such outrageous and inappropriate behaviour. It was a disturbing experience, which clearly indicates that the customer does not come first. We will NEVER return to this restaurant again, and if you decide to dine in Ideale Restaurant, ensure you tip generously even if you seriously dislike their overly-expensive mundane food - otherwise you too may be chased onto the street!
Buonissimo!! – I lived in Italy for many years and this is the only place I will go for Italian food. The pastas and breads are all homemade. The orecchiete (homemade ear pasta) are better than those that my Nonna made. The shaved fennel salad with gorgonzola and oranges is another of my favoties, as are the succulent lamb chops. Don't miss the Profiterol drizzled with Chocolate or the flaky Mille Foglie for dessert. It's the only place I'll bring my Italian friends to dine. Plus with all of the friendly Italians, you feel like you're in Rome!
This place can make a Wednesday night memorable – Ideale is warm and filled with smiling people. It's no wonder they're smiling considering the fantastic, unique but comforting food and the kind people who work here. I love this restaurant.
WATCH WHAT YOU DRINK – i used to be a chef here. we throw all the unfinished wine from our patrons glasses into a big tub at the end of each night. then in the morning the kitchen staff would rebottle it in our house chianti bottles and resell it at 24 dollars a bottle. im not a bitter ex employee. in fact i loved working there. its just disgusting and illegal and just plain crazy. DONT ORDER THE HOUSE CHIANTI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Coasting on Reputation – Ideale used to be my favorite Italian restaurant in the neighborhood. I live nearby and don't go out to eat often, but when I do Ideale is at the top of the list. I also liked to recommend this place to people looking for good, authentic Italian food in North Beach.
Based on my visit on Saturday, I won't be returning or sending anyone else to this restaurant. When I made a reservation for 9, I was told it was a busy night and I might need to wait a few minutes at the bar. We arrived at 9:10 and found a cluster of people waiting at the door, and no host in sight. After 5 minutes we had to seek someone out to find out the status of our table. Fortunately there were two spots at the bar, so we had a place to sit while we waiting 10 minutes for a drink and another 10 minutes to be seated, which at this point was 9:36.
One of the things that used to set Ideale apart was the high quality bread that they made on the premises. On this visit, we were presented with the same tasteless, mass-produced stuff that all the restaurants serve.
Wine by the glass was expensive and of poor quality. I don't mind spending a little more for a good glass of wine, but don't give me for a best option a $10 glass of chianti from an $8 bottle.
We both ordered the Mista salad to start; simple but tasty, until we both bit down on lemon seeds, souring the experience. Was this intentionally part of the salad? If so the kitchen should re-consider this choice.
Entrees were both very good; the steak was cooked blue as requested, which not every restaurant will do. My yellowtail was grilled to perfection, moist and ever so slightly underdone in the middle.
The service by the busser was excellent; warm and efficient. The waiter, on the other hand, seemed rushed and disinterested. By this time the restaurant was only half-full so I can only guess that we were interrupting a conversation with our troublesome desire to order (enlisting the help of the busser on two occasions).
Just like Italia – "La mia classe di Italiano abbiamo cenato mercoldi scorso". Fantastico!! The food was delicious and the services was gracious and professional. The pizzas were made the way they are made in Italy - thin, fresh and with simple. Classics! The pasta was made fresh and the portions were just right. I felt as though I were in Rome!!! When our group arrived we sat down and a cushion on my chair broke AND I knocked over my water! What a disaster! The staff was so kind and patient. They cleaned up my mess with humor and patience and made me feel relaxed and happy. Grazie, tutti. Saro ritornare presto!
Good food, nice setting – My hotel recommended Ristorante Ideale, glad I listened to them. It is a great family style place. The service was excellent, everyone was very friendly. I was eating solo, but they gave me a nice table and everything was run like clockwork. It was obvious from watching others dining that they had a good local following, always a good sign! I'd go back there anytime, good food, and a relaxed setting
Horrible Experience – This resturant came highly recommended for its cusine and service. I had made reservations and when we arrived our table was not ready. The staff was not at all accomodating to my party. When I asked for a table away from the door, we were told that there were no other tables available. We were seated at the table by the door and right behind us a two person party came in right after I was seated with no reservation and was given the table that I was told was not available. When, I asked management about this discrepency, It was completely ignored and I spoken over as I tried to describe the situation. It was completely dismissve and felt very discreminatory. As a person who has worked in the food industry for many years and as someone who dines out weekly, I was utterly disappointed by this experience. I will never return and I have made it a point to let everyone I know about this experience.
Hidden Gem – I have lived in the nieghborhood for years and regret not finding the place sooner. Now my all time favorite in the neighborhood. The pasta dishes are cooked to perfection. The other courses, though good are not as great. The menu will change depending on what is in season. Great deserts. The waiters are friendly despite some of the other reviews. It has a European atmosphere where you can dine for hours without feeling rushed
An unexpectedly authentic gem of an Italian trattoria in the heart of North Beach. – The Scene
Diners weary of the barkers on Columbus Avenue should consider a detour to quirky Grant Avenue instead. The restaurant has two brightly painted rooms, one with a small but full bar in the back and the other packed with couples and families next to walls with cheerful mosaics. The noise can escalate quickly and service can be erratic, but a festive spirit prevails.
The dishes here reflect the way Italians really eat. An appetizer of zucchini with truffle oil and Parmesan cheese is so delicious it's difficult to share, as are the scrumptious, smoky bundles of grilled calamari with arugula. Pastas are homemade and merit return visits, including some toothy orecchiette with pecorino and rapini, whose sole fault is the terrifying hunks of garlic. The sauce on the dry pork chop can't save it, but the accompanying roasted potatoes are flavorful and perfectly crispy.
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