Cafe Zoetrope

Overall Rating: 6.300


Address: 916 Kearny St.
Cross Street(s): Columbus Ave.
City, State ZIP: San Francisco, CA 94133
Neighborhood: North Beach
Phone: 415.291.1700
Hours: Tu-F 11am-10pm; Sa 12pm-10pm; Su 12pm-9pm
Type of Establishment: Cafe (Chain)
Cafe Rating: 7.20
Barista: 6
Savvy: 6
Ambiance: 8
Presentation: 9
Consistency: Inconsistent
Espresso Machine: BOSCO
Coffee Rating: 5.40
Aroma: 6
Body: 6
Brightness: 6
Crema: 4
Flavor: 6
Taster's Correction: -1.0
Size: M
Primary Taste: Smoky
Coffee Beans: Illy
Cup Manufacturer: Porcelana Schmidt
Price: $2.50
Last Update: 06/17/2010
First Reviewed: 07/18/2003
Notes: Outdoor Seating

Review
Formerly Cafe Niebaum-Coppola until the winery venture of the same name went all private, this upscale café with Hollywood credentials is named after Coppola's production company - American Zoetrope. Beneath the picturesque green, patinaed Zoetrope building, it sits on a angular street corner approaching downtown. Stylish interior with Coppola movie posters, copper bar, and painted tile floors. Many white tableclothed sidewalk tables around its long street corner. Their manual espresso machine is a fabulous, decorative, antique, yet high-powered Bosco from Naples - a gift from Illy presented to Francis Ford Coppola. As in the finer Roman cafés, its barista (and also bartender) is an older gentleman who respects its power and adds a colorful personality to the experience of sipping at the bar. But they could use a little tuning in their machine and/or grind, as it produces a ring or a thin veneer of pale crema (that can sometimes run bubbly when there is a real crema). Typical "woody" Illy flavor: there's some body to the cup (the pour size is modest enough) but it otherwise comes off as a weak shot with a narrow flavor profile in the tobacco smoke and pepper end. They used to serve it in designer Illy cups and painted saucers, but they have since produced their own logo cups from Porcelana Schmidt.