SPQR

SPQR
1911 Fillmore St
San Francisco, CA 94115
After 9 years of bustling urban living, Triple F is finally leaving the city of San Francisco for a cushier life in the ‘burbs.  I felt I should squeeze in one last visit before I lose my free city housing for good.  Well, that and I wanted to spend some quality time with my Triple F, Running Man, and the Twin Tornadoes.  My stomach may be bottomless, but my heart continues to beat warm for the ones I love.  Interestingly the ones I love either have a bedtime of 8pm or more important people to hang out with, so it was just Triple F and me for SPQR.  Triple F has always spoken very highly of this place so I was excited to finally get to try it.
 
Summer Squash cooked and raw, calabrian chili, radish, ‘nduja, ricotta salata
The pairing of cooked and raw squash piqued my interest, but unfortunately the raw version paled in comparison to the cooked counterpart.  I didn’t think they went well together.  The pickled radishes added some brightness while the ‘nduja sausage balls definitely brought the heat.  The ricotta salata tied all the components together.
Chicken Liver Mousse strawberry marmellata, balsamic gelatina
Smooth, livery, savory.  The strawberry marmellata was a unique pairing.  I’ve seen other fruits, typically stone fruits or figs, paired with pates and mousses.  The strawberry aroma was a bit more sweet and dessert forward than what I was used to.  All in all, still a tasty dish since I love liver mousse.
 

Charred Onion Perciatelli creamed baby leek, guanciale, ricotta salata, onion ash

The onion aroma was definitely off the charts here, in a great way.  It was in the pasta, in the sauce, and even in the ash.  I can’t say the onion ash really brought any flavor.  The sauce was a bit too rich for me.

Smoked Fettuccini sea urchin, smoked bacon, soft quail egg

Triple F extolled the culinary achievements of this signature dish.  The smoked fettucini and smoked bacon made for a very smokey dish.  The sea urchin’s sweet butteriness was almost lost in all of that.  Overall, it was not my favorite uni pasta dish.

Fennel Gnocchetti white bolognese, sartori bellavitano cheese

The pasta was bathed in a delicate white cream sauce, accented with the mild cheese and bites of ground meat.  It was tasty, but my tastebuds were tired of another cream sauce.  It was my bad for ordering this way.

Albion Strawberry meringue, white chocolate, kiwi, roasted strawberry gelato

Summer in the city is the best.  San Francisco has such a strong farm-to-table dining scene.  Their use of the season’s best ingredients never fails to disappoint.  The strawberries were tart yet sweet.  The roasted gelato was creamy and cool.  I can’t say I loved the meringue, but the white chocolate wasn’t too sweet or overpowering.  Overall, it was a nice dish but a little all over the place.

Peach & White Chocolate “budino di pane”butterscotch, “cinnamon toast crunch,” basil rum gelato

The budino di pane tasted like a crispy cinnamon french toast.  The peaches were juicy and sweet.  I did not care for the basil rum gelato.  Again, nice components but a little all over the place and lacking harmony.

SPQR was not all that I had hoped it would be.  We should have ordered better.  The pastas were all too heavy to be eaten together.  Assessed individually, I can appreciate the care taken to create each dish.  I really did like the perciatelli for the sweet and savory onion goodness.  It was my favorite pasta of the night.  The uni pasta was good, but the smokey flavors were too overpowering and distracting.  The desserts were fruity but were too deconstructed for my liking.  I would still come back to SPQR because I see the potential in it if different things are ordered.
10 – You NEED to eat here
9 – Awesome!
8 – Very good
7 – Good 
6 – OK 
5 – Average
4 – Not bad
3 – Not good
2 – Terrible
1 – Do NOT eat here

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