Why haven’t I tried this place earlier??
Despite being a mere 6 blocks away from where I live, it was only very recently that I finally made it to this beautiful restaurant in Pac Heights. It only took 2+ years.
And… it was marvelous. Absolutely marvelous. It’s instantly shot up to being one of my favorite restaurants in San Francisco. I don’t know how to explain it– the city is definitely not lacking in Italian restaurants, so what is it about SPQR that makes it so fabulous? It must be the small details, from having butter topped with olive oil and pepper for your piping hot biscuit to a pasta made with blood sausage. It’s perfect for the adventurous foodie, but also does classic dishes brilliantly. It goes to show that in a week filled with dining at restaurants such as Quince, Coi, and Spruce, SPQR remained one of the highlights.
1. We started off with the complimentary biscuit with butter and jam. Holy clouds of heaven the warm, flaky biscuit was positively divine. The butter, topped with olive oil and freshly ground pepper, was the perfect texture for spreading. I’m still blown away by how adding olive oil can make butter even better! Mind. Blown.
2. Next, we had the pate with house made toast. Not only is this thick, crunchy, buttery toast– it’s also garlicky. Even before we bit into the pate, the smell of the garlic bread had us drooling.
3. Cheese plate. Need I say more?
4. The winter vegetable soup with turnip fritters is rather unassuming at first. Then, you take a sip and are blown away. I would have never suspected a seemingly simple soup could be so rich and full of flavor. Perhaps it’s because I didn’t expect much from the soup that I was so pleased by it.
5. By this time, I was already feeling full, but of course, I had to power on. Life is hard but someone’s gotta do it. For our pasta course, we decided to try the bludnudlen, which is pasta made with blood sausage. As a fan of blood sausage, this was slightly disappointing because the sausage was crumbled into little bits, and didn’t have its normal distinct taste. Good for those who are not so adventurous ;).
6. The buckwheat tagliatelle was definitely the better of the two pastas. The pairing of the mushrooms and cheese were perfect. It was one of my favorite dishes of the night!
7. Finally, the entrees. The seared scallops were huge, and not too overwhelming– in fact, perfectly seared. Like the people they make fun of on tumblr, we all couldn’t stop taking pictures of this beautiful dish. As a fan of root vegetables, I was definitely diggin’ this.
8. The true cod was extremely unique. On top was a piece of toast, which was similar to having fried salmon skin on top of your fish! What a wonderful mix of textures. Underneath the salad laid some scrumptious roasted artichokes, which I almost liked more than the cod itself. I would definitely order the artichokes if it were a side dish.
9. The veal scallopini was perhaps my least favorite dish. It wasn’t bad, but compared to everything else, it didn’t stand out.
10. Upon first arrival, I thought the guinea hen looked a little dry. Boy, was I proven wrong. Moist, juicy, and flavorful, I loved the pairing of the guinea hen with slightly pickled cabbage and a sweet potato puree.
SPQR, I can’t wait till we meet again. Preferably soon.
1911 Fillmore St.
San Francisco, CA 94115