after hounding this board for suggestions for my semi-picky austinite friend, i decided to take him to poggio in sausalito on wednesday for lunch because he requested italian(not too many reputable italian joints are open for lunch apparently), plus i wanted to show him our version of a mediterranean seaport villa. here's what we ordered:
fried artichokes and onions with a herb sauce: good. fresh artichoke (not marinated) and onion chunks deep fried with a light, crispy batter on top of a tasty green colored herb aioli type sauce. although it was maybe slightly heavy as the first thing to put in my stomach, it was by no means greasy. we both enjoyed this dish and used the bread to sop up the rest of the herb sauce.
pizza margherita: standard fare here, nothing that stoodout. so-so crust, not crispy and too chewy. sauce was on the weak side. my friend thought it was good though. i've had better italian style pizza at dopos.
penne with spicy italian sausage, peppers, and tomatoes: this is what my friend ordered. i had a small taste and thought his main was definitely better than mine cuz it had a zing of heat and some complexity unlike mine, but again just good, not excellent.
garganelli with bolognese sauce: this was my main and i was somewhat disappointed. the garganelli pasta was cooked perfectly and had a nice chewy texture, but the bolognese sauce was much akin to a bland prego bottled sauce and the meat in it was rather dry.
although i was disappointed in some of the food after reading favorable reviews here, admittedly, i am kinda hard to please. regardless of the food (i probs ordered wrong), service was prompt and courteous, there is free valet parking, the prices are moderate, and the space is nicely appointed. as such, i really wanted to like this place, however, i would be willing to give it another go after i try the 99 other offerings in my bay area restaurant wish list.