Chiaroscuro

Overall Rating: 6.500


Address: 550 Washington St.
Cross Street(s): Hotaling St., btwn Sansome & Montgomery Sts.
City, State ZIP: San Francisco, CA 94111
Neighborhood: North Beach
Phone: 415.362.6012
Hours: M-F 11:30am-10:30pm; Sa-Su 11:30am-11pm
Type of Establishment: Restaurant
Cafe Rating: 6.50
Barista: 6
Savvy: 6
Ambiance: 7
Presentation: 7
Consistency: N/A
Espresso Machine: UNIC
Coffee Rating: 6.50
Aroma: 7
Body: 6
Brightness: 6
Crema: 5
Flavor: 7
Taster's Correction: 1.5
Size: M
Primary Taste: Candy-like
Coffee Beans: Lavazza
Cup Manufacturer: Steelite
Price: $2.50
Last Update: 08/30/2007
First Reviewed: 08/30/2007
Notes: None

Review
An Italian restaurant in the north shadow of the Transamerica Pyramid across the street. They went for the modern minimalist design here: simple tables and booths (ok, pillows), concrete floors, tall glass windows - all black and white solids accented by grey concrete. At the curved serving area resides a single-group Phoenix UNIC, hidden away next to their wine refrigerators. They exclusively use pods in their machine - Lavazza Gran Crema. The resulting shot has a thinning blonde crema and a characteristic Lavazza smell. Despite its many impediments, flavorwise a good mellowness of the Lavazza roast comes through: some caramel mixed with pleasant herbal elements. Served with two small biscuits.