At Poesia the sautéed medallions ($19) were bathed in a pizziaola sauce, a puree of tomatoes charged with garlic, oregano, and hot pepper, and dotted with halves of pitted black olives. The rest of the dish was finished simply, with quarters of roasted new potato and heap of sautéed broccoli rabe, dark green and glistening.
Desserts, like the savory courses, are variations on classic themes. Tiramisù is beyond cliché now, but Poesia's version ($7) uses Grand Marnier, for a hint of oranginess, and it doesn't have the typical tiramisù's sloppy-lasagne-square look but instead resembles a striped lampshade. Cannoli ($7) is more conventional in appearance a flute of crisped pastry and is filled with chocolate chipstudded whipped cream, while an honor guard of strawberry slices stand at attention to one side.
The restaurant's layout remains unchanged from earlier incarnations. There is a bar in a cozy corner, but you can't watch the movie if you're sitting at it: bad angle. The dining-room windows still offer a commanding view of a festive block of 18th Street, although the windows' bareness is disconcerting. People peeking out from on high at passersby prefer a bit of cover, some curtains or drapes or even miniblinds. I speak from some personal experience on this point. Window treatments also relieve starkness, as experienced from inside. But it's early, and perhaps D'Ippolito will get to such matters at some point.
He's a busy man, though, working the dining room, supervising the service staff, and offering customers the occasional tutorial in conversational Italian or Italian film history. I tried out a few of my swear words, and they met with nods of approval, even if we both knew we weren't dealing in poetry.
Dinner: nightly, 5:3011 p.m.
4072 18th St., SF
Noise under control
Not wheelchair accessible