While both food presentation
While both food presentation and service are very good, the portion is small so it's very pricy in that sense.
3/18/2013 5:00:00 PM
This was one of the best dinner experiences I have ever had! The service was fantastic and of course the food was over the top amazing! I will most definitely be coming back!
3/21/2013 5:00:00 PM
This was our 2nd time returning
This was our 2nd time returning to the restaurant, and was just as amazing as the 1st time! Thank you!
3/22/2013 5:00:00 PM
Far and away the best Italian spot within walking distance of the FiDi... Some of the best pasta dishes I have had in my life.
3/27/2013 5:00:00 PM
Sophisticated verging on precious
Since the last time we dined here, the menu has become more sophisticated and some dishes, while pairing intriguing ingredients, don't always work. My saffron gnocchi with wild mushrooms and sauteed artichokes was an interesting concept, but needed spice or something to pull it altogether and save it from being muddy. On the other hand, the starter of small lobster tail and a scallop with vanilla was quite lovely and the deconstructed chocolate souffle delicious. Service was very friendly and knowledgeable. And the room is quiet, making it easy to converse.
4/3/2013 12:00:00 AM
One of our best dining experiences
One of our best dining experiences in a long time. The service was perfect from all levels of the staff and the food meticulously crafted. Right up there with other San Francisco notable resturants. We will definitely return the next time we are in town.
4/4/2013 4:00:00 PM
Food was fantastic and presented
Food was fantastic and presented in such an artistic manner that you don't want to mess up your plate!
4/11/2013 4:00:00 PM
Fantastic service, divine food, romantic ambiance with the modern "light/dark" (chiaroscuro in English) motif. This restaurant exudes the sense that you have discovered a "hidden gem." The staff are incredibly accommodating to diet preferences and the gluten-free pasta is off the charts. The service is impeccable -- the manager is knowledgable and described each of our entrees on arrival, they fold your napkin every time you leave the table, and are on the lookout for any request. Our waiter Mattei was fantastic - attentive and knowledgable, he provided the right mix of Italian charm with humor to help is choose a great meal. Great place to go on a date night. Be prepared to be treated like a VIP!
5/2/2013 4:00:00 PM
Quality not quantity
Food presentation and flavor excellent, but the portions were so small we left hungry after 3 courses.
5/16/2013 4:00:00 PM
This restaurant is known for it's pasta, but everything on the menu is outstanding. We started off with an amuse buche--lobster bisque with a small chunk of lobster atop a luscious creamy base. I had a half-order of gnocchi that was melt-in-your mouth wonderful, then tried the brisket, which was out-of-this world. It came on top of pureed sunchoke, which had been smoked over apple chips, and gave the brisket a lovely, smokey taste. The meat was so tender and yummy. We couldn't help ourselves, so we had to have dessert--the profiteroles, which were slathered in chocolate sauce and filled with a light lemon cream. Service was superb! Highly recommended.
5/20/2013 4:00:00 PM
Great meal in a stylish environment
Really good friendly and helpful service - starting with following up on my request in the OpenTable reservation notes.
Food is more like a 4.5 out of 5 - very good, but a small amount of room for improvement. The amuse bouche wasn't great - better not to do one if it isn't special.
It's the decor / environment combined with very friendly but professional service that really makes this place stand out.
5/24/2013 4:00:00 PM
Service and attentiveness were great. Saw the show on check please and thought I'd try it out. I expected more but it was good, overall. Was it to my expectations.? No. The portions were small and left me still hungry. The triogia was good but not what it was built up to be, kinda salty and noodles were semi hard. The beef brisket was the savior of the night. That was to die for. The appetiture scallop and lobster was small but tasty which left me wanting more and was pricey. Nice please to have a romantic dinner but you'll leave hungry unless you order a lot. Nice but pricey.
5/24/2013 4:00:00 PM
We had a delightful lunch.
We had a delightful lunch. Parked at the Hilton Hotel garage about a half block away. Good bargain.
5/29/2013 12:00:00 AM
knowlegeable and intuitive
knowlegeable and intuitive sommelie (ha ha wine person). the food is magically and arfully prepared. expect a unique food experience.
6/5/2013 12:00:00 AM
A San Francisco Gem
Our first time at this restaurant and it won't be the last! The food and its presentation was superb. We spend time in Milan so we particularly appreciated the amazing pastas and cheeses. The service was exquisite.
6/10/2013 12:00:00 AM
Chiaroscuro is an outstanding choice in SF for top-notch food, service, and ambiance. I've only been once so am hesitant to give it 5's across the board, but everything was very, very good and I definitely recommend it. Best of all, it's easy to talk there. They need to fix the height of either the bench along the wall or the chairs that are paired with the bench: if you're on the bench, you're at least 3 inches higher than your dinner partner sitting in chair across from you. That's awkward.
6/12/2013 12:00:00 AM
Picked up a friend who arrived
Picked up a friend who arrived from Connecticut and wanted to surprise him with a restaurant that we have been sharing via e-mail. I first learned about this place on "Check Please" and each participant gave a great review. We also are a big fan of Italian food and the menu caught his eye when he googled the restaurant. So, I thought it would be a way to welcome him home to California with a nice intro to his vacation. We were not disappointed and the scallops was our favorite dish! We have been to Italy several times and enjoy the food very much so we are always looking for a good find here in California.
6/18/2013 12:00:00 AM
Great food in a great food town
Chiaroscuro was recommended to us several years ago by the concierge at Le Meridian. Since then we have dined there five or six times and I've held one company event for 12 people there a couple of years ago. We have never been disappointed. Chiaroscuro is consistently worthy of its stars. The tastes are sometimes subtle, sometimes bold, but always superbly tasteful , creative and beautifully presented. For us the portions are just right. Since the last time we were here they have gone to a fix prix format with 3, 4, and 5 course choices. At first we had some negative feelings about the change but by the end of the meal thought it was just right. We both had the three course and left the restaurant well satisfied with big smiles.
7/3/2013 12:00:00 AM
Excellent dinning experience. Food was executed superbly. Services was top notch. Friendly wait staff explains the food and offers great advice on wine pairings. This is a don't miss spot across the street from Trans America building.
7/15/2013 5:00:00 PM
Great service small portions
The front of the house staff is outstanding. Well informed and attentive. The wine pairings served with each course were superb evidencing a knowledgeable sommelier. Well appointed and hospitable dining room with an attractive view into a smooth running kitchen. My only complaint is with the size of the prix fixe servings. We're they just a bite or two larger the place would be a knock out for a comfortable dinner with one other or a small gathering
7/20/2013 12:00:00 AM
great date, great business
ambiance and decorations amazing
difficult to understand the waiter and sommelier when they were talking. strong accent. Waiter was Matieu
Forgot bread, apologetic when asked.
Food was delicious, fantastic as always. Portions felt a bit small. I wish I'd taken the 4 course instead of the 3 course.
7/24/2013 12:00:00 AM
Lovely Italian Faire
Two friends and I had lunch here and were not disappointed. We started with Prosecco and it was very good. We tried several different items on the menu and each was delicious. In addition to the lovely peach salad I had the pasta carbonara. The pasta was freshly made and the sauce was devine. Dessert was wonderful and the coffee was excellent. I will definitely recommend this restaurant and will come back soon. The wait staff was lovely and very courteous. We took our time and we were never rushed. It was truly a lovely escape from the busy world of the financial district.
7/25/2013 12:00:00 AM
One of the best Italian restaurant
One of the best Italian restaurant in San Francisco. We have been there several times and it was always great !
7/27/2013 12:00:00 AM
Seemed really dead or slownight
We arrived early for our 7:30 resv and there were only 2 other tables in thw rest. The place was empty and was still empty at 9:15 when we left. Seemed really odd given it was a Friday night. Have been before when it was busy during the week. Not sure what is going on. Loved the food though and the wine selection was great also.
8/2/2013 12:00:00 AM
Gem in the shadow of Transamerican
Spinach salad was the Best!
lasagna was light, tasty and not over sauced. The Gnocchi was so light, like Nona's and so tasty.
Loved it and will return.
8/8/2013 5:00:00 PM
Fantastic - REAL Italian
I had lunch here for the first time and I can't wait to go back. Everything was great, but the pasta was amazing! If I closed my eyes, I could have been in Italy. It is so much harder to make a simple dish taste great. My pasta was not over sauced, not over complicated, it was so subtle and so amazing, I am still thinking about it a day later. I also love that they offer 1/2 pasta plates. That allowed me to have a soup as well which was also memorable. I can't believe I didn't know about this gem!
8/19/2013 12:00:00 AM
Elegant Italian cuisine
Chiaroscuro was outstanding! We went there for our 20th anniversary dinner and the meal and the service was stellar. We each had the four course meal and I also did the wine pairing. Every plate was beautifully presented and every bite was delicious. I would definitely recommend! Charming, elegant and romantic!
8/31/2013 12:00:00 AM
Had lunch at Chiaroscuro after seeing the restaurant on "Check, Please!" on PBS. Great service, beautiful food & dining room. The chef made wonderful vegetarian substitutions for me including a grilled peach bruschetta.
9/9/2013 12:00:00 AM
You can't go wrong!
My husband and I stumbled upon this restaurant one evening and now it has become our go-to restaurant when we want a special evening together, eating great food and drinking amazing wines. The staff are top-notch and they know their stuff! We always have the same waitress and she remembers us and the conversations that we've had over the course of several visits. We know that we will be taken care of with food (never had even one bite that was off), wine (they are great at pairing dishes with their wines) and service (from the main server to the support staff). We highly recommend this restaurant to anyone who enjoys amazing European fare!
9/13/2013 12:00:00 AM
I've never heard about this
I've never heard about this restaurant before until a day when I needed to make an urgent dinner reservation - all known places were booked so I took a risk based only on the menu listed on the restaurant's website. I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of food - the beet salad was very good, however it's the pasta dishes that blew me away, the trio of pastas and gnocchi were both outstanding. The steak with chanterelles was also very good.
I wish the place would have a bit more sophisticated cocktail/beer & deserts selection.
I will definitely have to visit this place again in the near future!
9/14/2013 12:00:00 AM
Good food, excellent service!
This is the place you want to be for good food and excellent service. There is no pretence in the food, just wholesome and pure. If you are a desert person, make sure you have the chocolate soffle. It sends my mouth watering just thinking about it.
9/18/2013 12:00:00 AM
Staff is wonderful... great dining.
Jana (hostess), Mattia (sp??, our waiter), and Saullo (the waiter's assistant) were all wonderful. They made our dining experience all the more pleasurable. The food was very good, and well presented. Wine pairing was also very well done (I had the 5 course, and it was well worth it). Lively noise level. Although we experienced an extremely long wait for our first course to arrive (seems there may have been some snafu occurring in the kitchen), taking everything together, it was truly a wonderful dining experience. I felt like I was in Europe (where your evening meal is “an experience” -- treasured time with friends/family, as opposed to a rushed affair of stuffing your face and running).
9/21/2013 12:00:00 AM
wonderful food and service
wonderful food and service - noise level high, though.
9/25/2013 12:00:00 AM
Real Italian restaurant in SFO
We were looking for a real Italian restaurant (not American Italian) in San Francisco for some good Italian food. So we asked the guy behind the bar in the Meridien for a suggestion. He came up with this gem.
He was right! The restaurant had a super atmosphere, quiet and open kitchen. The food was excellent! Real Italian food served in good portions (small portions). I was food you can really enjoy.
We went for the 4 course menu with accompanying wine selecting, which was an excellent choice.
When you are in SFO make sure you visit this place.
9/25/2013 12:00:00 AM
Service and food were outstanding
The food and service was just perfect. We did the five course meal with wine pairing. It was just a fantastic experience to enjoy the food and get the wine selected for each course, very well done. We were very well taken care of on all levels.
9/28/2013 12:00:00 AM
This was a great Roman style
This was a great Roman style restaurant. The food and service were outstanding.
10/1/2013 12:00:00 AM
Wow! Service doesn't get better
Wow! Service doesn't get better than this. Food doesn't get better than this! What an amazing experience. Finally, a restaurant that takes food and service as serious art. Thank you.
10/4/2013 12:00:00 AM
I have been to this restaurant
I have been to this restaurant about 5 times now and has never disappointed me. The food is incredible and the flavors are fantastic. The chef always sends a small appetizer at the beginning of your meal and it's just a very nice surprise. The staff is very professional and courteous. The menu is very reasonably priced as well.
10/9/2013 12:00:00 AM
It couldn't have been better
My husband and I came here for our anniversary dinner after seeing a review on KQED's
Check Please. Everything was wonderful. We are both very particular, and for me/we to give a restaurant 5 stars just doesn't happen.
We came here on a Friday evening, and even with cement floors, and cement 'banquettes" with pillows on them it still was not bad in the noise department. The lighting was low, and there was candlelight everywhere - just magical. Our server, Mattia, was wonderful, and Paul, the sommelier was very attentive. Our meals were both amazing; so delicious, and flavors that were a little different, and just wonderful.
We look forward to our next visit.
10/11/2013 12:00:00 AM
Great dining in financial district
Chiaroscuro is a great place to dine in the financial district. We have been twice now and plan many returns. We eat out quite often and this is one of our favorites in San Francisco.
10/12/2013 12:00:00 AM
Always a Winner!
I've been coming here since they opened. I love this place!
10/15/2013 12:00:00 AM
An excellent dinner
I had been thinking of visiting this restaurant for some time, and I'm really glad I finally did. The restaurant has a beautiful modern design with big windows that give good views towards the TransAm building. The seating is comfortable and the lighting is just right. We had a very congenial waiter who was able to make great wine choices by the glass. They offer 3, 4 and 5 course dinners. We had the 3 course, which included a very interesting large appetizer and a wonderful pasta. The additional items sounded great, but we couldn't eat more. The chef was present and visited the diners. I have been to a more famous Italian restaurant nearby several times, but this place was better and less expensive. Highly recommended!
11/10/2013 4:00:00 PM
A new go-to for lunch.
Special lunches anyway.
Great design and ambience although the hard surfaces give a bit of a coolness to the place on a chilly day.
The pillows on the banquets help offset that and one of those tables would be my preference for future visits.
Service was impeccable and very warm and friendly -- for the high style of the place especially.
Food was really good and beautifully presented.
Very very nice overall.
11/13/2013 4:00:00 PM
My wife and I ate at this restaurant several times. The quality is always improving and now we considered it one of the best restaurant in town!
11/14/2013 4:00:00 PM
The menu, plating, and personal service are beyond expectations.
11/20/2013 4:00:00 PM
A flawless dining experience that exceeded already high expectations from 2 very discriminating diners. One of San Francisco's best modern Italian restaurants.
11/20/2013 4:00:00 PM
Just a fabulous restaurant. Great food and the staff is outstanding!
11/21/2013 4:00:00 PM
As always it was fantastic
Really enjoyed the fixed prixe menu. Got to choose my favorites. Chef pays special attention to creative mix of flavors. Pasta is best in town. Waitstaff are attentive. Went with wine pairing for each course. Smart choice.
11/22/2013 4:00:00 PM
Wonderful Roman dining experience
Simply put: The dining experience was great. I grew up in Rome. I wanted my daughter to experience what I recall in terms of excellent pasta and distinctive second plates. I got my wish. Wonderful environment, friendly, very "accogliente", i.e. welcoming. Terrific service. Great evening.
11/25/2013 4:00:00 PM
This was our second time here and it was just as memorable as the first. The food was amazing, the service impeccable, and the wine pairings great. They changed things up a bit since last time - they now do a 3, 4, or 5 course menu (with wine pairings if you wish) for set prices. We had a relaxed and romantic meal and cannot wait to go back again!
12/6/2013 4:00:00 PM