CHIAROSCURO
CHIAROSCURO

CHIAROSCURO

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.chiaroscurosf.com/
  • Phone: 4153626012x
  • 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
A word from CHIAROSCURO
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.
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CHIAROSCURO reviews from OpenTable diners
86 reviews since May 23, 2014
Overall Rating4.3
  • Food4.4
    Service4.3
  • Ambiance4.2
    Noise LevelModerate
87% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (59)special occasion (48)romantic (34)notable wine list (29)neighborhood gem (26)great for lunch (19)good for groups (5)hot spot (4)late-night find (3)scenic view (1)Show More
  • A special place
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 9/18/2014
    From the time I walked in until leaving I was made to feel special. The food, service and atmosphere were wonderful and I look forward to future visits.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Food as good as ever + great wine!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2003VIP
    Dined on 9/16/2014
    First visit with their new 3, 4 or 5 course format, and we ended up liking it. The highlight was deciding to have a bottle of their white wine to get free corkage for our special bottle we brought. We tried a Vie di Romans white blend containing Malvasia and Reisling which turned out to be a very delicious and dry white. Our waiter knew the wine well and decanted it to let the tastes change in rapid fashion. The hit of the night. Three of us each had the 3-course meal trading bites of 3 different appetizers (Burrata, Degustazione di salumi and prosciutto e melone) followed by 3 different primi (bucatini al carbone, ravioli di mozzarella e funghi and the Trilogia). Everything was delicious! Portion size varies so ask your waiter.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    For a restaurant that was not very large and had some empty tables when we arrived for our 8:30 dinner reservation, service was incredibly slow. Some of the dishes ordered were wonderful: special appetizer of melon and ham, the fish of the day, the beef entree. However, the 3 pasta dish (what I had come for) was overly salty, with only the carbonara completely to my liking. All desserts ordered were satisfying but the very long wait in between courses was annoying.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • The flavors!
    geewhizVIP
    Dined on 9/11/2014
    Everything had such wonderful flavor. Really great food and the portions are just right. It's also a place where you can actually talk to each other and not have to shout.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Continually great quality and flavs
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010VIP
    Dined on 9/11/2014
    Alessandro creates great dishes. Micheal Mina spends his time in strip clubs.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • wonderfully fresh and vibrant
    castrofoodie
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    fantastic food, well prepared, great flavors. awesome wine pairings.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • likeschocolate
    Dined on 9/3/2014
    Saw chiaroscuro on Check Please, so we checked it out for my birthday. The rigatoni amatriciana (one of the three pastas in the trilogia) is the best pasta I've ever eaten! My wife got the bucatini al carbone ai ricci di mare e vongole (charcoal grilled pasta with seafood). She kindly let me finish hers as well. It had a wonderful, clear seafood note. Looking at the menu later, we saw it was from the sea urchin & saffron sauce. Superb, as was the service and decor. We see from other reviews that chiaroscuro offers family style dining as well, so we'll have to return with a group.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Quite a disappointment
    disappointment
    Dined on 8/27/2014
    The lamb appetizer was fine…after that it was downhill. I had the trilogia, and though I expected the pasta to be served al dente, this pasta was hard in the center and it was served barely warm when it got to my table.. The desert was served on a biscuit that was so hard it could not be broken with a fork or knife, with canned fruit smothered in what seemed like canned whipped cream and three tiny pear slices on the side. What a disappointment. I expected much better. I went early , 5:30, and there were only two other tables occupied.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Superb Service and AMAZING food
    KRSEater
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    Oh my God! Everything is phenomenal, including the service. Our server was pleasant and attentive, arranging for us to meet the creative and amazing chef. The perfect end to a great evening. Come with an appetite for the fabulous! The Trio Di Peace and Trilogia are amazing dishes that thrill the tongue. The Bistecca di Manzo was so tendered it simply melted like butter. Even the wine pairings were perfect. This small restaurant is a rare gem that combines superb food and incredible service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food. Wish it were cheaper.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    My wife and I went here for dinner a couple nights ago and really enjoyed it. The food was great. But we were surprised that they only has a prefix menu. Getting the cheapest option, with one glass of house wine each, and tip - it came to well over $200. It's a shame, because I'd like to go back, but at these prices, it likely won't be for a long time. There are too many other restaurants with really excellent food in the city, but will run you about half the price of this place.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    why were we awarded no points for this experience?
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Top Restaurant!
    HotsauceHankVIP
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    Still remains one of the best restaurants in San Francisco. Food was outstanding, as was the wine and service. It is fine dining casually and elegantly executed. The dining room is also very initimate and quiet. Perfect for a romantic night out or a nice dinner with a group of friends. Can't say enough at how wonderful this restaurant is. Go!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Excellent with one Miss
    ZIODINOVIP
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    Every reviewer on a local TV show praised this restaurant to the hilt. It came very close to their plaudits. The decor was striking reminding us of the newer restaurants in Italy. The service was very good. The staff was spare and therefore busy. We did not feel neglected, but a little more personality would be nice. The food - especially the pasta - was excellent. There was one exception. The night we ate here - the fry station missed a beat. One of us had the fried squash blossoms. They were delicious but instead of having that distinctive crunch they were a tad limp. Our pheasant was excellently presented and was accompanied by a pheasant croquet which was over done. Despite the fryer having an off night we wish to try again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • feedmewell
    feedmewell
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    Saw on Check please! Was excited to take out of town guests. The only outstanding dishes were the buratta salad and Rainbow trout special. The special squash blossom appetizer with 3 different stuffings was oily and all tasted the same. The Kobe beef was tough & chewy. The pasta trio and gnocchi just ok . Ordered a cheese course, but wasn't given any choice of cheeses, although shown a large cheese list along with the wine list. Service started great, but less than half way through, it just disappeared. Our wine bottle was not kept on our table, it was kept on a counter behind us. We were left with empty glasses several times and don't feel we finished the second bottle. Disappointed!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • elegant but not stuffy
    windsurfnerd
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    Birthday dinner was a 3-course with wine pairings...each dish was nicely prepared, fresh and flavorful, with a complimenting wine. I loved the creative and seasonal cocktail to start! Service was attentive and crisp.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very disappointed
    mari
    Dined on 8/4/2014
    After reading the reviews and recommendations from Check Please, we went with high expectations. Perhaps that was our mistake. The presentation and service were outstanding, but the food was mediocre. The trio of pastas was gummy and very ordinary. Definitely overpriced. We enjoyed the wonderful service and wine pairings, but would absolutely not recommend the mediocre and very expensive pasta.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Best Dining Experience Whole Trip
    Patience
    Dined on 8/4/2014
    Service was above excellent. Waiter was knowledgeable about all aspects of the dining experience. Food was exceptional. The dining room is mainly concrete so it is a bit cold. The dining room was very small with an open kitchen and I think the European touch of the chef spending a brief time saying hello would have added to the experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Order the 4 or 5 courses
    artspc72VIP
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    My husband and I ate here the night before a race, so we planned on eating a light meal. We both ordered the 3 course option. My husband had the seafood appetizer, the steak secondi and the pear tart dessert. He loved everything but the dessert. I had the salad, the pork secondi dish, and the gelato dessert. The salad did not have much flavor, and the pork was good but it needed more of the peach sauce. The gelato was incredible, though. Neither of us had the pasta, but it all looked incredible (the next table over all ordered pasta). Service was great until we were done eating, then it took 15 minutes to get our check. I recommend going when you are not in a rush, and ordering at least 4 courses, as the portions are rather small.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Business lunch treat
    DGB289VIP
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    Great spot for business lunch. Menu was thoughtful. Service was considerate. Food was well prepared and well proportioned.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • exclusive/vibrant!
    caligirl
    Dined on 7/23/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food, too noisy
    RobertVIP
    Dined on 7/21/2014
    The food and service were excellent, but once the restaurant was full, normal conversation was impossible. They need some soft surfaces to absorb sound.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Lunch
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 7/17/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent food, but a bit noisy
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 7/14/2014
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Disappointed
    Lola
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    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!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Mixed
    ReliableVIP
    Dined on 6/26/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Review
    12revwVIP
    Dined on 6/18/2014
    Food OK. VERY small portions. Out of more than 2 items on the list. Expensive for what it is. Bit loud when full
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Excellent wine pairings
    SFeats
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • nice surprise
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 6/7/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • prix fix was a turn off
    happyeats
    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.
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Foodie Gem.
    HIfoodieVIP
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Best Italian Dining San Francisco
    Ladycshell
    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!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent
    Lphsf
    Dined on 6/5/2014
    .. Simply an excellent restaurant. Nothing more to say. Period.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Fabulous Find!
    Beachmama
    Dined on 5/31/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • angry
    BillVIP
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Epic celebration dinner
    Mamala
    Dined on 5/30/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 51 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 23, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.5
    • Food4.5
    • Ambiance4.3
    • Service4.3
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 896 reviews are from the CHIAROSCURO reviews archive.
  • Enjoyable Roman Lunch
    OpenTable Diner Since 2002
    Dined on 5/20/2014
    Our lunch was great -- our waiter, Matia, was the best. Thank you for an enjoyable experience. We'll be back!
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • What is wrong with their staff?
    NotSatisfiedVIP
    Dined on 5/19/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Molto Buono
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 5/16/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Delicious
    AnneVIP
    Dined on 5/14/2014
    Delicious classic Italian food with impeccable service in a sophisticated contemporary setting! Loved it!
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Second try
    ReliableVIP
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate