In the Fillmore neighborhood, everyone is talking about SPQR, the new Italian restaurant opened by the owners of A16. In San Francisco, A16 is a very trendy place, and it didn’t take long for SPQR to become as famous (another one of those Michael Bauer overrated review) . I have to say, they have an amazing wine list, but the food is far from being exceptional. Don’t get me wrong. It’s good. But not worth the wait you may have to endure if you really want to eat there.
A few feet away, is another Italian restaurant, called Vivande (it’s on Fillmore, when you walk towards pacific heights). Much less trendy in San Francisco, but for me, the food is as good. The wine list is much less comprehensive than SPQR, but I’m sure the people going there are not picking SPQR for the wine!
I told all my twitter followers (you can find my details on the right of this page) that I was going to write about pasta. Actually, I may disappoint you, because I didn’t have pasta. So I won’t talk about it. I got tuna. It was on the specials list. And it looked really good. The good thing with tuna in a restaurant, is that you know straight away if it’s cooked well or not. Seared on the outside, raw in the inside. I went to Suppa (still in San Francisco) on 4th (between Branna and Bryant) and the tuna was cooked all the way through! Hard solid. That was bad.
Well, my tuna at Vivande was perfectly done. With fennel seeds, haricots verts, some lemon and a nice fried risotto, it was just simple and delicious. That’s the kind of food I like. Nothing fancy, crazy, just good ingredients, some lemon and it’s pure pleasure.
Again, I wouldn’t say that was one of the best meal in my life, but it was good. Refreshing. There aren’t actually that many places serving that type of food anymore.
I would absolutely recommend Vivande if you want a quick dinner, in a nice atmosphere, with fresh and simple food. And of course, if you like Italian cuisine!
[update] Even though I had a good experience there (actually two good ones), Claire seemed to have had a terrible diner. Worth noting as either she got very unlucky or I got very lucky. In any case, this should be taken into account when picking the place…