The spirit of both Northern California and Italy shine through in this small, lively dining space. SPQR (an acronym for Senatus Populesque Romanus) has hit new heights under chef Matthew Accarrino, garnering a Michelin star and several James Beard nominations. His menu reflects a philosophy that is at once modern and traditional, with every detail of texture, flavor and presentation bearing a personal stamp. Raves are rightly earned for antipasti such as caramelized sweet onion panna cotta with sturgeon bacon and accarrino caviar, and for any of his handmade pastas (the meyer lemon fettuccini in an albalone alfredo will bowl you over). Pair them with owner/sommelier Shelley Lindgren's spectacular Italian wine list and it'll be an evening to remember.
1911 Fillmore St
|Cross street:||between Bush and Pine Sts|
|Opening hours:||Mon–Fri 5:30–10:30pm; Sat 11am–2:30pm, 5:30–10:30pm; Sun 5:30pm–10pm|
|Transport:||Bus 1, 1BX, 2, 3, 22|
If the cacio e pepe at SPQR is on the menu, get it. It's probably one of the best iterations of the dish that I've found in SF, and in SPQR's super sexy atmosphere, its simplicity stands out. The lamb ragu here is also phenomenal - really, I've never had a pasta dish at this spot that didn't make me scrape my plate clean. If you're a walk-in and there's a wait, Wine Jar across the street is a good place to grab a glass. But have some vino at SPQR too, because their wine list is bomb.