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“Just Shy of Great” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Terzo

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Terzo
3011 Steiner St, San Francisco, CA 94123
(415) 441-3200
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Ranked #297 of 4,918 restaurants in San Francisco
Price range: $21 - $30
Cuisines: Mediterranean, Tapas, International
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Union Street
Transit: 22 Filmore & 45 Stockton
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Just Shy of Great”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2013

I am eating (mostly) vegetarian lately after coming off a child-centric traveling diet that consisted of far too much beef, burgers, and fried things. Now that I am traveling alone, I am making up for it by consciously seeking out restaurants a picky, pizza-loving 11-year old would avoid like the plague.

Thus, I ended up for a late dinner in Terzo, a farm-to-table chef-driven Italian-inspired restaurant that looked promising.

Upon sitting down, I asked for some sparkling water and bourbon - and was denied a bourbon because the restaurant's bar is limited to wine and beer. No problem. The wine-by-the-glass menu was generous and I settled on a Nero d'Avola that was just fine.

A quick glance at the menu showed that there was many vegetarian or mostly-vegetarian options. I opted for two small plates - the hummus (the waiter singled it out) and the panzanella (I'm a sucker for panzanella). I also ordered a half-portion of the hand-pulled pasta.

The pasta was excellent. It was properly al dente, with a mild pesto, tiny but potent tomatoes, and tiny slivers of romano beans (a flat snap bean) cut on the bias.

The panzanella fell short of excellent because of the unnecessary addition of both goat cheese and black olives, which combined tackled and pummeled the brilliant heirloom tomatoes into submission - the cheese and olives added too much brine and pungency to the salad. Still, I ate every scrap, but I wished either the goat cheese or the olives were not in the mix.

Whereas the panzanella swung too far in the pungent direction, the hummus fell completely flat in the opposite way. Lacking any discernible acid to lighten and brighten it, this chickpea paste was overly thick and leaden. The house made pita that came with it were soggy: limp, useless tools for scooping up the "hummus". I optimistically ate less than a third of it until I concluded that no, really, this was a terrible rendition of a very basic dish.

For dessert, I decided to test the kitchen one more time by choosing the simplest dessert: chocolat chaud. This was served in a demitasse and was excellent, almost redeeming the failed hummus. I almost ordered a second cup, but restrained myself. Best to leave happy and almost full.

The restaurant itself was beautiful. The staff was friendly and service was spot-on: not too fast, not too slow.

Booked via OpenTable.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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31 reviews from our community

86% Recommend
    16
    11
    2
    2
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Princeton, NJ.
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
“Good food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 17, 2013

Had dinner last night with another couple. Our first time there. We were very peasantry surprised as the outside of the restaurant does not reflect the stylish interior. The tapas were very good, especially the hummus and manakish bread, a typical lebanese specialty. The Moroccan chicken was delicious as well as the elbow pasta cooked al dente. The chicken skewers were very tasty, with a strong garlic coriander pesto. Don't skip desert as the warm apple crisp is wonderful. Service was very good, our waiter very knowledgeable about menu items. Valet parking is a real treat, $10 !
Overall, Great experience.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Nice local place with great food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2013

nice bar, good wine, great service. Many small plates for sharing. I keep coming back here. They have one table outside so you can bring your dog (and a jacket).

Visited September 2012
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Sacramento CA
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
45 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Great Experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2013 via mobile

My husband, mom and I went to Terzo Thursday night. Our waiter was excellent -- attentive but not intrusive. The wine and food were top notch. Mom and P had small plates; I had steak. All very tasty. It is expensive, probably not more so than simlar places. Lovely experience.

Visited April 2013
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Catheys Valley, California
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“undiscovered gem!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2013

It is owned by the folks who run Rose Pistola in North Beach and the food is excellent. Small tapas to large entrees. We ordered about 7 small plates and loved all them!...just go!

  • Visited April 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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