1911 Fillmore St.
San Francisco, CA 94115
Dining date: 7/3/22
I’ve been to SPQR once way back, just over ten years ago. That first meal was a bit unmemorable, which is a large reason why it’s been so long since I’ve returned. Since then, the restaurant has consistently received a Michelin star (since 2012) and has converted to a tasting menu-only setup. While a la carte is no longer available, there are multiple options for almost each course and the $92 price tag (5ish courses) is pretty reasonable for a Michelin-starred spot in San Francisco.
Two counters are available close to the action of the open kitchen – the chef’s counter (pictured) and the wine bar counter (where we were seated). Tables along the periphery, as well as a couple of outdoor options, complete the setup.
octopus with shrimp, tomato, chickpeas and cucumber
crispy pork belly with sweet onion and bing cherry agrodolce
green romaine, green vegetables, spicy crema fresca and california blue cheese
hand cut pappardelle, brentwood corn and huitlacoche butter
yukon gold potato gnocchi with bolognese ‘deluxe’
prime beef with bone marrow sauce and pink pepper
hot chocolate torta with bavarese and vanilla crema
rose sugared bombolini
This was another altogether unmemorable meal at SPQR. The octopus and gnocchi were highlights, but neither of these seemed ‘Michelin caliber’ by any means. The beef main course looked the part but fell flat. The steak was on the tougher side (I think it was flatiron) and lacked depth – it needed a flavorful sauce to bring everything together. The bone marrow sauce didn’t hit the mark; I couldn’t even tell there was any in it. Service was a bit intermittent too (a wine pairing was completely missed) – it’ll likely be at least another ten years before another return (if ever).