An acronym for Senatus Populusque Romanus, SPQR translates to “The People and Senate of Rome” and was the emblem of the Roman Empire.
SPQR is a Northern California restaurant inspired by Italian cuisine and wine led by Chef Matthew Accarrino a Food & Wine “Best New Chef” in 2014, a proud recipient of a Michelin star. We strive for balance in offering the highest quality of food, wine and service for each guest’s experience in a intimate and inviting atmosphere.
Matthew Accarrino is the nationally recognized chef of SPQR in San Francisco, CA. Born in the Midwest and raised on the east coast, he moved west to California in 2007. You could say Matthew literally fell into cooking, growing up he had dreamed of being a professional cyclist. After a leg injury that left him learning to walk again and through a long recovery, he found his other life’s passion, cooking. His unique culinary style draws inspiration from his Italian heritage, personal experience and classical training with some of America’s best chefs. In the kitchen Matthew takes full advantage of the bounty of opportunities California ingredients present. This includes a strong belief in direct sourcing, producing, and at times playing a role in the creation of his ingredients. The result is an intensely personal cuisine that is both technically polished and soulful; and which has garnered praise from publications such as Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, Saveur, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, 7X7 and SF Magazine. Under his direction, the restaurant was recognized with a Michelin star in the 2013 thru 2016 guides. Accarrino was named a Star Chefs “2010 Rising Star” for his “innovative vision, finesse, and deeply satisfying cuisine,” and in 2011 he took top honors at San Francisco’s Cochon 555 competition. Accarrino has been nominated four consecutive times by the James Beard Foundation as a semi-finalist for “Best Chef: West.” FOOD & WINE Magazine named him “People’s Best Chef California” in 2013 and editorially selected him to for the prestigious “Best New Chef” award in 2014. Accarrino co-authored and released his first book, published by Ten Speed Press, SPQR: Modern Italian Food and Wine, in October 2012. Today Matthew remains an avid cyclist, when not in the kitchen you can find him on the roads of Napa Valley on his bicycle or supporting the world of professional cycling through working with several teams. Matthew always enjoys opportunities to combine his two life passions, cooking and cycling.
Wine Director & Partner
Shelley Lindgren’s reputation for seeking out Italian wines made with lesser-known grapes has earned her recognition as a wine pioneer. Lindgren, who has worked in restaurants all her life, feels that her job is less about creating high-profile wine lists and more about sharing her passion for wine and hospitality with guests.
A graduate of University of San Francisco, she spent six years at the fine-dining restaurant Fleur de Lys while earning her sommelier certificate. Lindgren also earned a culinary certificate at the Tante Marie Cooking School, where she has been teaching wine since 2002. In 2004, along with SPQR owner Victoria Libin, and chef Christophe Hille they formed the team that opened A16, a restaurant inspired by the cooking of Campania with an emphasis on Neopolitan pizza and Southern Italian wines. Lindgren continues to search for evocative wines to serve at A16 and SPQR. To stay current, she embarks on rigorous tasting trips to Italy twice a year. In the restaurants, she mentors employees by encouraging them to earn their sommelier’s certificate.
As a member of Les Dames d’ Escoffier, Lindgren stays involved with San Francisco’s food community. She has taught at the Culinary Institute of America, and is a regular instructor at Tante Marie. Lindgren’s first book, A16 Food + Wine, was awarded Cookbook of the Year and First Book/The Julia Child Award at the prestigious 2009 IACP Cookbook Awards. In August 2009, she was honored with Gourmet magazine’s Sommelier Award, presented to the next generation of wine stars, in the category of Educator and in November 2009 she was awarded the Golden Goblet Award by the Association of Women Chefs and Restaurateurs.
She has been named:
Best New Sommelier from Wine & Spirits
Best Wine Director in San Francisco Magazine
Awarded for Best Wine Service in 2015 by the James Beard Foundation