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“Well crafted, tasty modern Italian cooking, but cramped.”
Review of SPQR

SPQR
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Ranked #247 of 6,003 Restaurants in San Francisco
Price range: USD 21 - USD 30
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Dinner, After-hours, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighbourhood: Pacific Heights
Cross street: Between Bush & Pine
Transit: Muni 22 Fillmore, 3 Jackson, 38 Geary & 1 California.
Reviewed 6 April 2018 via mobile

Given the excellent quality of the food and the price I’m not sure why they pack so many people into such a small space..truly uncomfortable. Putting the tight spacing aside the food is top notch from start to finish and the service praise-worthy. The pasta is innovative and tasty but I enjoyed the chicken liver mousse appetizer and the superb wild rice stuffed quail entree even more. The variety of desserts is sure to please your sweet tooth and I certainly enjoyed the chocolate tart with crema fresca and coconut gelato.

Thank ElTouristo61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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8 - 12 of 365 reviews

Reviewed 4 April 2018

Even the Michelin guide makes mistakes and this is one of them. Truly awful restaurant in every respect. Both times I’ve been there the food was very oversalted and believe me, nobody cared. Hipster crowd packs the place, enough said.

Thank William M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 April 2018

It took me longer to get back to SPQR, with my wife this time, than I had expected. However, picking from all of the restaurants in San Francisco is difficult, even though we visit almost every month, or even more often.

We arrived for our early reservation, and were seated promptly, at a nice little 2-top. The table spacing seems to have decreased, since my previous visit, but maybe being a solo diner gave me a different impression? The tables are close.

We started with the Damijan Kaplija Gorizia, Friuli 2011, and pondered the menu.

Our meal was likely a bit eclectic, as we ordered:
Filo and Bufala Ricotta “Pie” w/ kobocha squash, pumpkin seed pesto and sesame honey – very good dish, and we each enjoyed it
Octopus w/ kale sprouts, panissa, chickpea, pistachio and preserved lemon – best Octopus I have had since Melbourne, maybe 8 months before – outstanding!
Smoked Fettuccini w/ sea urchin, smoked bacon and soft quail egg – another hit
Meyer Lemon Linguini w/ abalone “Alfredo” American bottarga and a garlic chip – score another one

The portion sizes were adequate for us to pass back and forth, and sample, though we did not leave over-stuffed.

We turned the sommelier loose on the B-T-G offerings, and reaped the benefits of her knowledge, plus her wine cellar:
Vernica & Vernica, “Ronco delle Cime” Friuli 2016
Ciro Picariello “BruEmm” Falanghina Campania 2016
Dei “Martiena” Malvasia Bianca Toscana 2010
Biondi “Outis” Etna Bianco Catania 2016
De Sanctis “Abelos” Malvasia Putinata, Lazio 2016
La Mesma “Indi” Cortese/Gavi Piemonte 2016
Edi Keber Collio Bianco Friuli 2016
Loredan Gasparini “Capo di Stato” Veneto 2012
Vigna Rada Alghero “Riviera” Cannonau di Sardegna 2016

The wine selections were great, and each complimented each dish well. While I know my way around some Italian-centric wine lists, SPQR is beyond my capabilities, with but some limited exceptions. This was one place, where the sommelier’s vast knowledge paid great dividends.

The restaurant’s noise level did rise a bit, as it filled up (and stayed filled, with even the bar seating being occupied later), but was still manageable, even for me – but I made sure that the sommelier spoke into my “good ear.”

The lighting is subdued, but bright enough to clearly see the lovely presentations, and to safely use one’s utensils...

Our service was excellent, throughout the entire meal, and we wanted for nothing. Even with the crowed tables, the servers did a marvelous job.

I am just glad that I got back, and was finally able to host my wife (no “catered board meeting dinner” for her this time!

Even our taxi driver got us right to the spot – well, within a half-block, so that part was also nice. We will return, and I will once more just give the sommelier carte blanche with the wines.

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank The_Loup_Garou
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 April 2018

This is a very small place with pleasant atmosphere, good service and excellent italian food. I highly recommend it except if you are on a tight budget.

Thank Fernando E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 March 2018

This tiny place has impressive pasta dishes that use extremely innovative ingredients and combinations that produce extremely flavorful dishes. Two members of our group had the 3-course pasta and went completely wild over the blood sausage and squid ink preparations. I had the mustard pasta (not overpowering--delicate in fact) with guinea hen and couldn't be happier. My daughter had the chestnut sauce gnocchi and loved it. The meals are pricey, as others have mentioned, but this restaurant delivers meals that reflect the authentic spirit of Roman cooking.

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank sunshine_susan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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