There's no denying that San Francisco has endless dining options. From the Italian of North Beach to the Latin food of the Mission, San Francisco has more restaurants per square mile than any other major US city. Having too many choices can be stressful, though, and the last thing anyone wants on vacation is stress. If you suddenly feel the need to break away from the tight forty-nine square miles of San Francisco, Poggio Trattoria in Sausalito is a fantastic destination.
Poggio Trattoria was founded ten years ago by legendary restaurateur Larry Mindel, a trusted and experienced hand in the business. When you walk into Poggio, you'll sense that mastery immediately, from the fine details of the restaurant to the exceptional attentiveness of the highly trained staff.
The warm insides of Poggio. — Photo courtesy of Poggio Trattoria
While Mindel keeps the popular success of Poggio steady and grounded, new Executive Chef Benjamin Balesteri adds a fresh and innovative exuberance to this classic Italian trattoria. In six short months, he's already delighted diners with his special menus, including the winter favorite, Bollito Misto, an Italian winter meal featuring a selection of meats including brisket, oxtail and cotechino sausage. Bollito Misto, a special winter stew offered annually at Poggio. — Photo courtesy of Tom Molanphy
Chef Benjamin also adds a handful of sauces, including salsa verde, crème fraiche, horseradish, bone marrow butter and mostarda.
Although the preparation and presentation couldn't be better, what makes Poggio really stand apart is its garden, a nearby hillside sprawling with fresh vegetables. No frozen or packaged produce will touch your plate; the menu is made up of whatever the chef finds ripe in the garden. "The Sausalito Watercress we use was actually discovered in our restaurant's garden," Chef Balesteri explains. "And the garden is fed by an underground spring, which keeps the vegetables really fresh."
Fresh salad with organic ingredients from Poggio's own garden. — Photo courtesy of Poggio Trattoria
The organic delights show up all day long at Poggio's, from the seasonal berries in the housemade cashew granola for breakfast, to the grilled artichoke with preserved lemon for lunch, to the pizzas and simple salads for dinner. And if you want something truly unique for dessert, try their gelato, which is made from the milk of a nearby water buffalo raised in Marin County. Only in California...!
Whether you visit for breakfast, lunch or dinner, you can rest assured that you will leave Poggio's satisfied. Be sure to leave some time after your meal to window shop in Sausalito, a charming seaside town full of quaint galleries and picturesque views of San Francisco Bay.
A great way to work up an Italian-sized appetite before visiting the restaurant is to walk over the Golden Gate Bridge into Sausalito, and then enjoy a scenic ferry ride back to San Francisco. With your meal digested, you can return to San Francisco, ready to resume your big city vacation thanks to the small town charms of Sausalito and the Italian comforts of Poggio Trattoria.
Executive Chef Benjamin Balesteri of Poggio, ready to cook you that perfect Italian meal. — Photo courtesy of Poggio Trattoria