Did the pasta tasting menu and the wine pairing on a rainy Thursday evening... AMAZING! I'll happily skip the pasta course for the rest of the year! After savoring 5 courses of pasta preparations where each was unique, complex, and bursting with flavor. You know where those dollars are going with each mouthful... bring your wallet: $$$$ Space is small and a bit stuffy, if you sit at a 2-top you will be inches away from the table next to you.
Delicious pastas and the cozy-yet-upscale atmosphere is great, but taking off a star as it's a little pricey for what it is.
Tajarin and truffles... The pasta was delicate and delicious. My friend buckwheat fusilli, also so tender and tasty. The main course was Wagyu beef with fregola and arugula. The flavors of the pasta paired really nicely with the steak. Our waitress was really well versed in their wines and helped us pair the performing wine with our meal. Service was warm, friendly and gracious.
“Meat and Potatoes” Couple Meet Culinary Excellence
In celebration of our birthdays this year, we traveled to Northern California for a week’s vacation. Our last night was spent in San Francisco, and we asked a local friend in the culinary sciences to recommend a restaurant for a “kick ass” dinner to close out our vacation. When he recommended SPQR, we were skeptical – we are basic “meat and potatoes” folk, and the menu looked a bit “wild”, plus one of us has gluten sensitivities; but, we decided to go for it, and to be open to new tastes.
We cannot sufficiently describe how magical the evening was. SPQR is a lovely little restaurant sandwiched in a long block of various businesses. The atmosphere is warm and inviting, with no excess “fru-fru”. We were assured a table with our reservation, but opted to sit at the chef’s bar and have a front seat view to the artistry and skill at play in the creation of the various dishes. We were in awe as we watched the care and precision used to cut and prepare the ingredients, the swirl of activity as dishes were created and cooked, and the critical eye used in the final presentation and inspection of the meals before being approved for delivery to a diner. Chef Matthew was brilliant as he moved from place to place, preparing the dishes personally with the well-orchestrated and clearly well-rehearsed assistance of his staff. Chef frequently dipped clean tasting spoons in his creations and thoughtfully sampled items to ensure a high quality experience for his guests.
We ditched concerns about our waistlines for the evening and went all-out. We are completely unfamiliar with Italian wines, so our waiter assisted us in selecting lovely red and white wines aligned with our tastes. We started with appetizers: broccoli, hen of the wood mushrooms, smoked gouda, bread pudding and acorn prosciutto on a broccoli pesto bed; and an incredible sunchoke soup with truffle crema that is out of this world. For entrees we had buckwheat fusilli with pork, and almond crusted sturgeon and sturgeon sausage (prepared gluten free and flavor full). Both were a delight in each and every bite. For dessert we had caramel budino with toasted meringue, and a delightful citrus granita shaved ice preparation for a gluten free option. We finished off with a rich cup of espresso and a rapturous glass of Isole E Olena Chianti/Trebbiano (another on-the-spot recommendation by our waiter).
All the food was amazing, and comprised what we agree is the best meal we’ve ever had. The wine was perfectly matched to our tastes and our meals. Chef Matthew was amazing in his grace and mastery of his kitchen and staff. The wait staff was excellent: attentive without hovering and anticipating our every need and desire The restaurant was comfortable and inviting, with enough activity to be interesting and enough quiet for intimate conversation. We cannot image a dining experience superior to this one. SPQR is a not-to-be-missed treat.
This place has a michelin star so the food should be great, well at least that’s what I expected. To be honest, it was even better than I hoped for. What a great resto! We sat at the chef's counter and could see five people work magic in a tiny kitchen. We had soup and pasta with all sorts of rare ingredients, and our dessert was a work of art. Great location too.