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  • Address:
    550 Washington St
    San Francisco, CA 94111
    Financial District / Embarcadero
  • Cuisine:
    Price: $31 to $50


  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.chiaroscurosf.com
  • Phone: (415) 362-6012
  • Hours of Operation: Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:30am - 2:30pm Dinner: Monday - Wednesday: 5:30pm - 9:30pm, Thursday - Saturday: 5:30pm - 10:30pm Closed Sundays - We will open for special events (please call for more information)
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Executive Chef: Alessandro Campitelli
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Beer, Late Night, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Wheelchair Access, Wine

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Montgomery St
  • Parking: Street Parking
CHIAROSCURO is contemporary restaurant that combines traditional values with a modern air. Inspired by the black and white films prominent during the Italian Neorealist movement of the 40’s and 50’s, CHIAROSCURO’s clients will experience a level of service that constitutes a class of its own and an atmosphere that will express a simple yet charming air. The design is reminiscent of a terrace on the Mediterranean Sea or a street in Rome and offers visual stimulus that sets it apart from the rest. The homemade pastas, bread, and a menu out of an Italian dream will draw you in by the succulent taste of rich dishes that will leave your palate begging for more.Continued
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Diner Reviews
  • "Great spot for business lunch. Menu was thoughtful. Service was considerate. Food was well prepared and well proportioned."
    Dined on 7/25/2014
  • "You feel like you've walked into a private party, and you're made to feel very special. The style of the architecture is sleek and modern, yet you get incredible warmth from the kitchen and staff. What a great find!"
    Dined on 7/23/2014
  • "The food and service were excellent, but once the restaurant was full, normal conversation was impossible. They need some soft surfaces to absorb sound."
    Dined on 7/21/2014
  • "I met a friend for lunch, and neither of us had been to Chiaroscuro before. i had passed by it on the street and thought it looked inviting. We were greeted nicely, ad the waiter was gracious and knowledgeable. The food was delicious, and the service timely."
    Dined on 7/17/2014
  • "I am deaf in one ear and noisy environments are especially difficult for me to enjoy. The food is terrific, bit with hard, reflective surfaces, the noise was a bit much for me. For people with normal hearing, it is far less of an issue. I have eaten here many times and intend to in the future."
    Dined on 7/14/2014
  • "We were very unimpressed by the Food for the cost our dinner. Pasta is average at best. Steak underwhelming for the $20 up charge. If you are not a foodie you may be impressed! Our bill was over $330 for the 4 course meal option, there are much better options for the price, try Zuni Cafe for a great experience!"
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "The food was very good - not great enoug h justify the price, however. The waiter was good too but the other services were not nearly as professional."
    Dined on 6/26/2014
  • "Food OK. VERY small portions. Out of more than 2 items on the list. Expensive for what it is. Bit loud when full"
    Dined on 6/18/2014
  • "Our waiter was outstanding in pairing wines to the dishes the four of us ordered. Usually I eschew this sort of thing, because I usually am disappointed by the level of staff knowledge. But this was an extraordinary experience. For example, our waiter brought us 3 or 4 versions of the Nebbiolo grape. Completely different wines all made from the identical grape. A great experience. He had many other fine suggestions which we wisely followed. The food was generally outstanding. We had the chicken, beet salad, gnocchi etc. one small criticism: the paccheri pasta was over salted. The sauce includes pancetta and so the salt level is already high. I've been here since they opened. They have really upped their game."
    Dined on 6/18/2014
  • "everything was good except some of the food was on the cold side, otherwise a great experience. The bread was delicious, good wine selection. good for the price."
    Dined on 6/7/2014
  • "what a beautiful inviting, charming restaurant with a lovely staff. The draw back is the prix fix. Can't imagine why management made this choice. If it were less rigid a menu I suspect the place would be jammed every night."
    Dined on 6/7/2014
  • "Food was exceptional! Loved the waiter-forgot his name, but he was exceptional. Worked with us to determine what to order, made some creative suggestions that turned out to be perfect! An exceptional waiter such as him can make the entire dining experience one to be remembered. Just watch your bill - had some strange extra charges that showed up that were not explained to us. Had to work with manager to have them removed and left there not quite understanding why we still ended up with some of the charges. Restaurant is already high-end pricing, which it deserves but don't appreciate added costs being randomly thrown on.Sit at middle tables if possible.Concrete benches can get uncomfortable towards then end as pillows to sit on are thin."
    Dined on 6/7/2014
  • "We had the best meal and dining experience we've had in our life! The food was remarkable and the service is incredible! We ordered different plates from the prix fix menu. Every morsel from every plate was delicious. Our super waiter paired each dish with the most perfect Italian wine. Chiaroscuro is our place to go for special occasions. It was fun watching the chef through the open kitchen (sexy guy, btw). He tastes every single plate that comes out of the kitchen. Did I mention all the pasta is made in house and brought tears to my husband's eyes when he tasted it? Front of the house is gracious and friendly, coming by and asking how things are going and what we like best from our last course. BEST DATE NIGHT!"
    Dined on 6/7/2014
  • ".. Simply an excellent restaurant. Nothing more to say. Period."
    Dined on 6/5/2014
  • "Great food, excellent service-just a perfect evening. The flavors of each dish were unique and wonderful from appetizer to dessert. The wine as suggested by our waiter was the perfect complement to our meal. We will be back and telling our friends."
    Dined on 5/31/2014
  • "I took family for a birthday. I have been to the restaurant many times and I love it. The menu has changed to price fixe. We we were seated and were ready to order, we were asked if anyone would be ordering the choc. soufflé as it would take some time. We all did. When the bill came we charged $65 for the soufflés. We weren't told that they were not the dessert on the price fixe. We might have ordered them anyway, but I resented being hustled in a place that has such great food. I probably will go back but I will warn others that ask me for recommendations about this practice."
    Dined on 5/31/2014
  • "We had an amazing romantic 4 course dinner at Charoscuro. The staff is incredibly passionate about their delicious food and the service was excellent!!! We will definitely return!"
    Dined on 5/30/2014
  • "Our lunch was great -- our waiter, Matia, was the best. Thank you for an enjoyable experience. We'll be back!"
    Dined on 5/20/2014
  • "We've enjoyed many memorable meals here over the years; each time we visit the food is superb. The restaurant's only flaw is the staff. Each time we go, they assume we've never been there before. Yet, when you reserve on Open Table, you actually tell them you've been there before, the restaurant HAS that information. We find it insulting. This time we were seated outdoors. After we ordered, I went inside to use the restroom. The maitre d came running after me, "Excuse me, sir, do you have a reservation?" I was astonished. He thought I was crashing their men's room? I said, "You just seated us, ten minutes ago..." He DID apologize, but seriously, if you WANT to make your guests feel unwelcome, this is EXACTLY how you would do it."
    Dined on 5/19/2014
  • "Grazie ChicaroScuro for one of the best meals we have ever enjoyed. From the imported Burrata appetizer plate to the Saltimbocca we were amazed with the authenticity of the Roman fare. The ambiance was sleek and we loved it. The perfect anniversary celebration for us."
    Dined on 5/16/2014
  • "Delicious classic Italian food with impeccable service in a sophisticated contemporary setting! Loved it!"
    Dined on 5/14/2014
  • "My first meal here was excellent. This second one was disappointing. The food seemed inauthentic and fussy, as though they have lost their roots in making really excellent roman food. I may try again but did not think the meal I had justified the price. The service was weird too. We had one server at the start, then another introduced herself as our server. Ten minutes later yet a third said she was our server. Overall it worked but the lack of consistence made it difficult to determine who to ask for assistance. "
    Dined on 5/14/2014
  • "The tasting menu concept was great. Our table tried everything and we shared, so got to taste almost everything on the menu. Enjoyed the food, but it was very noisy and not great for conversation. The staff was very knowledgeable and the chef knows what he is doing in the kitchen."
    Dined on 5/9/2014
  • "We were running five minutes late for our 12:45pm reservation so we called and we were assured that the reservation would be pushed by 15 minutes to 1:00pm - we arrived sharply at 1:00pm and the host told us that he gave our table away and he could not know what the "lady" over the phone told us as she is "downstairs" and he is "upstairs"! Needless to say our guests (very important clients) were very disappointed."
    Dined on 5/8/2014
  • "This is one of those places where you wish you had a bigger stomach so you could try more things. Everything we've had there is fantastic. and you can't say no to the chocolate souffle."
    Dined on 5/3/2014
  • "I lived in Rome for 7 months. Around the corner from my apartment sat Ristorante La Pollarola where I consistently had amazing Spaghetti Carbonara. I've tried to find a properly done Carbonara ever since then and failed regularly... until I found CHIAROSCURO. Just excellent. And all other dishes are fresh and true to la cucina Italiana. Go, enjoy!"
    Dined on 4/29/2014
  • "This is one of my favorite all time restaurants. Service is attentive, food is amazing and perfectly sized. Try and share as much as you can. The meats and fish are cooked perfectly. Enjoy yourself. "
    Dined on 4/26/2014
  • "The Service was outstanding. They made my husband and I feel very special. It was our anniversary and they went out of the way to make us feel special. My husband had the special which I tried. Very good! I was not as pleased with my selection, tri-pasta dish. A bit dry and cold. The wine pairings were excellent and would recommend this restaruant, but bring your wallet. It is a very pricey place."
    Dined on 4/26/2014
  • "Felt like we where special from the moment we walked in. Food was excellent, as was the service!"
    Dined on 4/25/2014
  • "Fine italian gourmet food, good product original from italy and high professional Team. Alessandro is a real young top chef and Erick take good care on the site."
    Dined on 4/24/2014
  • "Always good! Great food service and setting. Never disappoints. "
    Dined on 4/19/2014
  • "The food and atmosphere was wonderful for a client lunch, and they enjoyed it as much as I did. The only two detractors to a perfect review was the server was a little slow with the requested coffee and then the need for sugar, and he did not quickly bring the doggie bag over and we forgot about it until we were half a block away so missed out on having that."
    Dined on 4/18/2014
  • "They emphasize Roman cooking and while the the hostess indicated that they tried blending old with new I have to say they have gone quite far afield of Roman cuisine. It is much more like nouveau cuisine. At a little over $60 for a small pasta dish and small main plate the price is quite high which they attempt to disguise by means of a prix fixe format."
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "We loved the food paired with the wines, the service-the decor. Everything was wonderful & it made for a very romantic dinner. Thanks!"
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "Chiaroscuro aptly pitches their cuisine as "Roman", and in my opinion dining there is like a quick trip to that great city. The food is outstanding and although the ambience is quite modern (stark, almost), the service and attitude of the staff is warm and friendly. After looking at the menu, I asked the wait staff if they ever prepared deep fried artichokes. She returned saying that this was planned for a menu later in the Spring, but not available now. Not 10 minutes later, a pair of delicious deep fried artichokes appeared, compliments of Chef Alessandro. A terrific and memorable surprise! This place is a real find, and one of a few memorable dinners achieved in San Francisco during a recent trip."
    Dined on 4/8/2014
  • "We booked our reservations far in advance and had great expectations. We were NOT disappointed--far from it! What an incredible experience!!! Five star service! Super kid friendly--they invited my foodie 9 year old into the kitchen and introduced him to everyone!!! The food was amazing! The dessert was divine! The wine paring superb! I can't say enough! What a wonderful evening! I would recommend it to anyone looking for a very special dining experience!"
    Dined on 3/18/2014
  • "Enjoyable meals, very good service. Excellent for lunch prompt service."
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "We had a group of six and had a total blast. The service was always good, but a little inconsistent in attention, but very friendly. The food was delicious. I loved the scallops appetizer and my husbands trio of pastas was muy muy muy delicious!!!! I'd definitely go back!! It is loud though, but beautiful space and super fun!!!"
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "Innovative Italian cooking (Roman, I guess). Simple, stylish décor with stone hard benches (because they are made of stone!). Competent wait-staff, nice selection of bootish vino. Occasional over-salting of some dishes (the pasta trio, which also arrived at 3 different temperatures...on purpose?) Generally a good experience worthy of a return visit."
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "The food was outstanding as was the service. The wine list was great and the sommelier recommended a perfect choice for us, right in our price range. We had the 3-course meal for which we chose appetizer, pasta and dessert. This was more than enough for us, 4 women dining out. Men or those with larger appetites may want to add another course."
    Dined on 2/28/2014