Monday, June 30, 2008
Since A16 and SPQR are sister restaurants and I thought A16 was not bad, we decided to check out SPQR. Ms. Lin had wanted to try this place since it's highly rated. Maybe we had too high of an expectation? I thought this place was WAY OVERRATED! It's really interesting how one restaurant can be so much better than the other when they do serve some similar items! @_@ Arrive early if you don't have reservations so you don't have to wait long. SPQR is a lot smaller than A16. We arrived early and shopped around... and bought something very expensive that I do not need. O=9
The food here was not very good, but the service was very very friendly. It was much better than A16. Ms. Lin ordered red wine and didn't like the taste, the server brought different red wines for her to try until she found one that she'd like. I felt really bad about it and commented that I liked my Moscato d'Asti! ^_^ Yay, I caused less trouble!
At SPQR they have a bunch of Antipasti to choose from. They are $8 each, 3 for $21, or 5 for $32. Since we always want to try everything possible, of course we chose 5. I will start by commenting on the only one I liked. We ordered the Bay Scallops with Meyer Lemon. What I really loved about this dish was the FRIED Meyer lemon pieces among the fried scallops. As I have mentioned time and time again, anything fried gets bonus points. I have never had a battered and fried lemon. I also don't like Meyer lemons but they did it in a way where I loved it, which is why I really like this antipasti. It was simple and tasty with a nice texture.
Sorry to rain on the parade, but the rest of the antipasti we chose was horrendous! Ms. Lin read that the Chicken Livers were a crowd favorite and she has to try it. I warned her before she ordered it that she would eat this ALONE. The most I would do is take a nibble. It was not that good. The portions were generous, but this was bad news for Ms. Lin. I felt so bad for her having to eat the whole plate of liver that she didn't quite like. Then again, I warned her. ^_^
We both like sweetbreads so we ordered Sweetbreads with Celery, Garlic, Lemon, and Oregano. It was not the type of sweetbread I am use to, so I stopped eating it shortly. I tried to shove as much down without gagging, but unfortunately for Ms. Lin I gave up. She had to eat most of this plate as well. Poor Ms. Lin! Darn the Asian within us that can't waste food! The sweetbread was flavorless and the celery flavor was overpowering, which made me nauseous.
One dish I wanted was the Lobster Brodo with Shrimp, Spigarello Greens, and Ceci Beans. I was mislead when reading this dish. It was just a dish of tiny shrimp in a lobster broth that was very salty and overpowering. If you dip the bread it will lower the salty taste. I actually tried to eat most of this dish since it was my fault, but of course Ms. Lin helped a lot since I don't eat beans.
We also ordered the Grilled Pork Ribs with Fennel and Rosemary. Most of the time I can tolerate any dish full of meat, but this fell short. It was bland, dry, and a little tough. Overall all the antipasti dishes were disappointing except the fried Meyer lemon and scallops. After we got all our food, Ms. Lin's eyes started wondering over to other tables. We should have ordered the Mozzarella sticks, even though it's not really worth the price. What we ordered was so bad, we both regretted not ordering that dish. **sob sob**
Luckily for me the main course was not bad tasting or I would have gone starving for the night. Ms. Lin was very full after the antipasti since I barely touched them. We ordered the Heritage Pork Saltimbocca with Giardiniera. The presentation was lacking and the meat seemed a little dry, but looks are deceiving. This dish was actually decent, probably because it tasted much better than the antipasti.
All in all the food was extremely disappointing, but the service was very nice and much better than A16. Food wise, I would try A16 again but the service was very bad. They should switch the servers at SPQR and A16 would be perfect! ^_- The food here at SPQR are definitely not worth the effort or try, although I loved a store nearby where I spent a fortune! ^_^
1911 Fillmore St
San Francisco, CA 94115