Poggio is an Italian trattoria Restaurant situated in the Casa Madrona Hotel, right on the main touristy street of Sausalito. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They focus on Northern Italian cuisine using local ingredients, sustainable products, and property-grown organic herbs and vegetables. The founder Larry Mindel has a long history with restaurants including Ciao, Prego, and Il Fornaio. Peter McNee is the executive chef. Our last visit was at the beginning of 2012.
Decor, Vibe – Sidewalk dining for warmer temperatures, classic interior with lots of graceful Tuscan arches, mahogany paneling, floor to ceiling wine cabinets. The place was pretty full on a Sunday night with a combination of locals and tourists, families, friends, and more.
Poggio Menu (Click to zoom into any picture)
Poggio’s Menu changes daily and includes a wide variety of items from Antipasti to Zuppe E Insalate starters. Pasta is available in appetizer or entree portions. Secondi has several meat courses as well as one vegetarian course. Pizze includes four differrent types.
The bread and the bread sticks were warm and excellent, so pace yourself.
Polpo ($11) roasted octopus with pork belly confit, potato, frisee, poached egg had a nice salad with a sharp zingy dressing on top, along with some soft octopus pieces and some well done pork belly. The pork belly seemed like a weird accompaniment.
Burrata ($11) homemade mozzarella burrata with sun dried tomato puree and grilled ciabetta was a solid dish but on the stingy portion side. There should have been more bread and less burn marks on it. The cheese was soft, mild, and smooth.
Passato ($6) puree of chickpea soup with rosemary and virgin olive oil was a thick and dense soup, perfect for the cold weather outside. The soup looked unappealing, but proved to be pretty good.
Gnocchi ($10 for small) yukon gold potato gnocchi with fonduta di fontina val d’aosta was perfect. One of the best around. Cheesy sauce, fluffy and smooth pasta.
Gnudi ($16) spinach ricotta pillows with beef ragu and parmigiano was excellent. Tender long braised meat along with soft pasta pillows. A must get.
Bucatoni ($16) “alla amatriciana” with pancetta, onion, chile, tomato, pecorino was an egg-less pasta with quite a spicy note to it. Hollow long tubes cooked slightly past al dente with a slight sweet note from the tomatoes.
Branzino ($26) Roast Sea Bass with savoy spinach, potatoes, and bagnetto verde was deboned tableside. Sides were burnt but did not detract from this excellent dish. Fish still had some bones but was tender and huge. Probably a 2lb fish and enough for more than one. Fried capers and brussels sprouts rounded out the dish.
Margherita Pizza ($13) classic neapolitan pizza with tomato, fresh mozzarella and basil was cooked in a wood burning oven. Slightly soggy in the middle, crispy and slightly burnt edges. Big chunks of cheese with nice overall flavor.
Salsiccia ($14) rosemary pork sausage, spigariello, sunchokes and mozzarella was a very nice pizza with dark chard edges and some home made sausage. The crust was especially chewy and pretty authentic.
Spinaci ($6) savoy spinach with lemon looked very fresh and was unencumbered by too much oil.
Affogato ($7) Vanilla gelato with candied orange and almonds “drowned” in espresso was their classic dessert. Very strong espresso that you could pour to you heart’s delight. Excellent homemade gelato.
Panna Cotta ($7) vanilla bean infused “cooked cream” with huckleberries was very smooth and on the sweet side. Rich vanilla flavors to the custard.
Bridgeway Lemonade ($8) House made lemonade, Vodka, and a splash of iced Tea was served on the rocks and had a bitter flavor from the lemons.
Mojito ($9.95) was average, a bit on the sweet side.
Ribolitta ($9) twice cooked minestrone with white beans, bread and cavelo nero was like minestrone soup with the soup removed. The ‘pancake’ had some olive oil drizzled on it. Flavors and ingredients were good, but this is clearly more of an acquired taste.
Poggio had good service with a knowledgeable waiter, fairly quick food delivery and pacing. On our last visit in 2012, the service was a bit more relaxed and could have been better. Food was very good and the scenery beautiful, a rare combination in touristy areas. If you are in the area and want Italian, give this place a try. Sushi Ran is nearby and can satisfy your Japanese Restaurant desires.
Complimentary valet during lunch, dinner available at The Casa Madrona Hotel and Spa, 801 Bridgeway. Kid’s menu available. Good sized wine list with moderate markup, list includes 5 handcrafted for Poggio. Glasses from $7, bottles from $28. Each time we visited, they featured a specific obscure winery’s selections.