Meals I Love: SPQR

A great meal for me is characterized by a warm ambiance, excellent service and top-notch food. All of these factors in harmony are what I love about going out to eat. It’s not just about the food. At SPQR in Pacific Heights, it’s hard to complain about any of these components. I’ve been twice, and the first time I had no expectations and was blown away by the unique, flavorful dishes. The second time I had high hopes and was once again, in awe of it.

It’s a small restaurant but all the staff, from the front of the house to the dishwashers move in sync. It’s like watching a show. The best part to witness this all go down is at the Chef’s counter. Your food is prepared and plated in front of you with skill, speed and precision. It’s so much fun to watch.

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It’s a changing menu but a few dishes seem to be constants. To start, the Chicken Liver Mousse is phenomenal. It’s rich but light at the same time. If you dig pate, it’s a must-order. It would also behoove you to order a salad. They’re not your average butter lettuce piles. We ordered one with crispy onions and broccoli. It’s sounds odd but the mix of textures and temperature made for a great start to the meal. Ooh and look how pretty.

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The pastas here are really the stars of the show. They’re non-traditional combinations but feel comforting and homey. The most recent time I went there were 4 of us so we could share everything. Up first was the squid ink pasta with uni. What’s not to love

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These eggplant ravioli with burrata and tomatoes did not disappoint. Fresh and elegant.

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My favorite dish was probably this risotto with peking duck and complimentary black truffles. What’s better than black truffles? FREE black truffles. Maj props to the chef for hooking us up all the way.

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Our fourth pasta dish was a wild mushroom stuffed ravioli that had piles of mushrooms on top. It was absolute heaven and evidently too delicious to even stop and photograph. SPQR is such a special place because it’s beautiful, well-executed food without any pretense.

Fun fact: SPQR is Latin for Senātus Populusque Rōmānus, referring to the government of Ancient Rome. It is used as the official emblem of its municipality and if you go to Rome today, you’ll see “SQPR” on everything from a coat of arms to manholes.

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