An ambitious restaurant, and a good one at that. SPQR is making a run at the San Francisco pasta crown, mostly with ingredients we can't pronounce.
Date night with my husband, food was subpar. Order the most expensive special and it was down right not good.
Only staff member that was tentative was the gentleman who brought us water and was trying to help with wine. Won’t be back.
best innovative Italian cuisine in the city. exceptional pasta and deserts
Having long wanted to dine at SPQR, We were delighted and amazed by the quality of well...everything. Though a small restaurant, it was well staffed, with everyone offering their best service from the Sommelier, our lovely waitperson, server’s and the charming host. Our request for a more private table was met. The menu changes daily and seems a bit daunting with unusual combinations of ingredients which could mean dishes are eclectic and unapproachable, yet our waitperson gave excellent descriptions of the items, suggestions and hit a home run helping us choose our dinner. Then...the food. So incredibly delicious, we over ordered and over-ate, wanting to sample a bit of everything, for once gauche enough to delight in aking home leftovers...eyes bigger than tummies. We had a chicken liver pate with jam served in a jar with perfect Crostini, a burrata salad that delighted, followed by a handmade lemon pasta (so delicate and sumptuous), a farro risotto with smoked salmon, chocolate torte and brown sugar cake, followed by a cheese board and delicious hand-pressed coffee. Three cheers for the devoted and talented Chef and team who come up with daily dishes of such high caliber. SPQR bears revisiting with everyone who wants to understand, chef driven cuisine, using local ingredients with a nouvelle Italian twist. I can’t wait to impress my friends and visitors by returning. We dined early, which was smart, as later diners either must wait outside or stand in wait for a precious table. Reservations, a must!!!
I was seriously underwhelmed by SPQR - the room and space are not very interesting, the food was not great and the service was poor. We sat at our table for quite a while before a server surfaced, then midway through the meal, our server left and was replaced by someone else.
The experience was not what I expected from a Michelin star restaurant.
Very enjoyable evening. Don’t have a full bar so grab your cocktails elsewhere if you are so inclined. Very inventive menu and awesome wine list. Highly recommend a table at the chef’s counter. The calm zen of the kitchen explains the careful execution we saw of every plate. Read some unfavorable reviews on service but ours was quite attentive. First time there will definitely go back.
Unbelievable! A friend recommended SPQR and we LOVED it. One of the best meals ever, literally. The quality and flavor of everything was great. Their twist on a buffalo mozzarella appetizer was incredible. We had a wine from Sicily that was truly unique and very special as well.
Overall, a wonderful experience! We don't live in the area, but will eat here again next time we're in SF. Thank you!
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.
Great food but you are packed in like sardines!! You can hear both your neighbors’ conversations, waiter doesn’t fit between tables to take your order! You have to turn your head to order and move tables in order to fit move between tables to go to the bathroom!! SPQR should sacrifice two tables to give diners some room and privacy.
Food was good, but overpriced for what it was. Can go to another place in the city with just as good quality and taste that is less expensive. Servers had more attitude than I would like but then became friendlier. Also, for a wine place they only had Italian wines and were small pours. I didn't like that you had to order everything at once. Generally I pick an app and then order an entree or more apps depending on the table and if we still want to keep trying a wide selection of items versus just everybody get 1 meal. For the price, attitude and taste you can find way better places in the city. Wouldn't go again.
We were very disappointed in the food on this occasion. Although the pasta is still fairly good the appetizers were almost inedible. The price is outrageous for the quality.
SPQR was alright, but certainly not what we expected from such a much-hyped (and expensive) restaurant.
The food here is consistently fabulous and this time was no exception. We started with chicken liver mousse, kale salad, and a burrata salad. We moved on to two pasta dishes, wonderful entrees, creative and delicious.
Food was spectacular and the staff was very friendly! Highly recommend. Lived up to the Michelin-star rating!
There was a lot of contact made prior to the actual date but at no time were we told that this place is so small you have to stand outside if you arrive any time before your reservation.
The waitress was very nice but never introduced herself to us and seemed a bit stressed through most of the service.
Some of the dishes were out of this world and some were a miss. The black trumpet pasta was tough and chewy.
This not your typical Italian restaurant, and the tasting menu is not like others you've had.
What makes this restaurant unique?
First, the food and wine is 100% Italian, so the menu overall is very focused in this sense.
Second, they offer a pasta tasting menu, which is not only unexpected from an Italian restaurant but is also a nice change of pace from the more common French-derived tasting menus.
Third, the dishes and presentation are all nicely balanced between delicate and traditional flavors, not too fancy and not ordinary.
We arrived early, sat at the bar, and enjoyed some glasses of Spumante sparkling wine (one rose, and one red). This in itself was pretty cool - never had sparkling red wine before. The server at the bar area was very knowledgeable and helped us select a bottle of wine that would pair well with all of our pasta tasting courses.
Everyone at the table must participate in the tasting menu if you go that route, but we opted for only one addition of the truffle pasta upsell. You can also choose to only do one order of the wine pairing (one half-glass with each course) so you can split it between two people.
The pasta was excellent, all fresh and properly cooked al dente. The sauces had familiar flavor profiles, but the ingredients and balance within the dish are what elevated it above typical Italian faire.
Professional and courteous staff, very knowledgable about the menu, and good timing/pacing of dishes.
What we didn't like was mostly the size of the restaurant. Getting in and out of tables is tricky. The bar area seating is cramped in general and eating there seems like it wouldn't be comfortable. The chef's counter/bar area is especially cramped. You can't sit there without somewhat intruding on the main walkway to the back of the restaurant where the kitchen/bathroom is. Also, the prices are definitely on the higher-side. Apps are mid 20s, Primis are mid 30s, Seconds are low 40s. This pricing will inevitably offend some people.
Fantastic night. Incredible food and great service.
Everything was so good, except for the lamb ragut which tasted oversalted
Second time visiting and was treated with a perfectly professional attitude by everyone. It's a restaurant I dream of being apart of. I'm a somm with my most recent experience of time in progressive Italian dining and the wines alone blow my mind both times I have come in. They're all temperature controlled perfectly and feel as amazingly thought out as the food. It's a great spot to grab a bite if you're by yourself too, which generally happens on my business trips, but still want to blow $60-70 and feel welcome. Just to round it out, the atmosphere is beautiful and somehow can fit a Monday or a Friday for anyone. Will have to drag my wine friends in next time.
The ambience was amazing, you can feel the energy from everyone—- all positive. As I looked around you can see everyone was enjoying themselves—- customers, staff, etc... Highly recommended.
Amazing food, extremely knowledgeable server when choosing wine pairing with dinner.
Too close for comfort in my opinion. Food was delicious, staff was friendly and professional. The seating was just too cramped for my taste. We were almost on top of our neighbors to either side. I understand it’s SF and some people like to be right next to other guests and hear their entire conversation and vice versa, but not me. Can’t blame the restaurant, I didn’t even read reviews beforehand. Those are just my thoughts.
Don't miss SPQR on a visit to San Francisco. The delicious food--from starter to dessert--will delight and surprise you, showing the high level of inventiveness and ingredients.
My husband and I went here on the recommendation of a friend. We sat at the chefs table which was interesting and fun. We had a shrimp appetizer that was good. I had the Buccatini which was excellent. However my husband ordered the Waygu beef. It was grizzly and very fatty. He was unable to eat over half of it. For over 70 dollars for a piece of meat that was more than disappointing. We shared the panna cotta and while it was good it was heavy. Will not go back.
food was tasteless, heavy, and boring. pasta was a bit over cooked. They seemed to be trying too hard to be different via putting together unusual combo of ingredients. But just made it complicated and fell flat. quite pricy for what you get. very disappointing.
We had dinner at the chef's counter as part of our valentine's day celebration. The food was phenomenal and the service was top notch.
We really enjoyed the food and service during our visit.
We each picked an antipasti and either a primi or secondi, and it was the perfect amount of food. When the primi/secondis arrived, we thought it might not be enough -- because the cuts of meat or amount of scallops etc. appeared quite small. But the food was rich and complimented with delicious sides, so we were satisfied. The desserts were so-so, and since we were there to celebrate a birthday, that was quite disappointing. Just bland, dry chocolate cake...But overall, I would return -- for a special occasion.
Crowded, average food. Salty.
The food was amazing. Sat at the chef’s counter and got to watch the amazing kitchen at work turning out gorgeous and delicious masterpieces. The service was slow, barely saw our waitress, never had my water refilled, luckily my boyfriend didn’t finish his glass so I could drink the rest of his. Ordered a glass of wine when we first placed our food orders and I finished it before the main course (had appetizers and lots of waiting between courses) and I would have loved another glass, but our server never came back to check on us, except of course to drop off our bill at the end of the night...oh and to offer us coffee after we’d already finished our dessert...I would’ve loved it
Pricey, but great for a special occasion/date night.
Small dishes, you may leave the place hungry.
Incredible, creative food. Highly recommend!
My wife and I have eaten some appetizers and drunken at SPRQ . So we came back. We were very underwhelmed. We didn't send anything back because every dish was off. The roasted cabbage salad had crummy croutons and these salty mini fish sticks. None of the flavors melded. The brusheta special was a pile of stuff that you could not eat comfortably by hand or by knife and fork, plus it didn't have any flavor to speak of. The gnocchi we ordered was just plain weird. They were shaped like like alfalfa pellets you feed a rabbit, and there was a bunch of other stuff in there that we could not identify and just didn't taste well together. The ink spaghetti with octopus, didn't really have any octopus and used to much ink. It was difficult to eat. The only good thing we had were the oysters. Finally when someone orders a few appetizers, we don't want them brought all at once. I made it feel like a fast food joint.
Packed, server was nice but had a ton of tables to look after. Foot was great but super salty.
They were able to seat us early. Good wine, delicious pasta. Will be coming back again soon.
We saw SPQR reviewed on Check Please, Bay Area and were excited to try the homemade pastas. My husband I were not real thrilled with either pasta dish, he had the sweet potato gnocchi and I had the lamb ragu. The dishes seemed to have too many ingredients that did not go together well. We both had a first course and were disappoint with those, as well. I had a deconstructed Caesar salad with charred cabbage, kale and 6-minute egg. The cabbage was cold, but the kale was room temperature and that just didn't taste right. The 6-minute egg was cooked well, but it was cold as well.
The staff were helpful, but not real friendly. We live in Oakland, and there are so many fantastic restaurants there, we would not drive back to the city and pay those prices for that food. Sorry, we so much wanted to enjoy our time.
Unusual, creative, delicious food. Stuff one won’t find at other places. Worth every penny for its somewhat pricey menu.
Mathew the Chef is absolutely great and is always accommodating in every way! One of my favorite places in SF!
Very good food. Even on a weeknight this place was packed to capacity. It’s very noisy and the tables are practically on top of each other. The wine list is extensive and when we asked the waiter for some help he didn’t really have much to offer. Dessert was the highlight of the meal.
A truly amazing meal. All the food was on point, the server was helpful in guiding us through the menu and we were spoiled by attention from the manager and the owner.
Get pasta meal (5 pasta courses) with wine pairing - great value, if you like unusual, out of the ordinary food. We just had it, all 5 were good, and 2 of them really amazing. That is available onlyvTue, Wed and Thu, and it's best to seat at the counter in front of the kitchen.