Move over frat boys, there's a new bro in the Marina: Spaghetti Bros., to be precise.
This casual yet upscale Italian restaurant took over The Republic's spot on Scott Street back in late October, adding to the rich mosaic that is the Marina. It's a perfect example of Bay Area Italian dining, with a menu full of traditional recipes that have been given modern innovations.
The titular brothers have successfully transformed the space from the dingy, poorly laid out design of its predecessor to a chic destination. Were I not already committed, I would want to go here on a first date, since the atmosphere evokes an intimate feeling, with low lights and red candles that keep the mood explicitly Italian, while making it very challenging to take Instagrammable photos. Spaghetti Bros. also boasts an impressive cocktail selection, a must have for any respectable courtship in the age of Tinder dates.
[jump] The service is friendly but formal, with servers who are very attentive to the level of water in your glass. They also make personal recommendations, which is helpful when everything on the menu looks delicious.
For appetizers, my friend and I kept it traditional: We ordered the toasted raviolis ($8) and Aaron's garlic bread ($7). Presumably, Aaron refers to Aaron Toensing, one of the two Bros. — in the friend sense of the word — responsible for bringing this dining experience to fruition. He's a man who knows his garlic bread: crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and garlicky to excess, just as it should be.
Although I would describe the toasted raviolis as “fried,” they were extremely enjoyable, especially when loaded up with the accompanying tangy marinara. The only downside was that the dish was served with four ravioli — entirely too few, given their size. I'd also love to see the ravioli replicated as an entree, since it could certainly stand on its own as such.
I began my day with a serious amount of dental work, so pasta was exactly what the dentist ordered. Don't be fooled by the simplicity of the menu — each item is clearly crafted with a high level of attention and creativity. We shared the spaghetti ($14) and orecchiette ($16), both of them delightfully unique and entirely without pretense.
The spaghetti was flavorful but uncomplicated, and, given the romantic atmosphere, presumably ideally eaten Lady And The Tramp-style. I took some home to my Italian fiancé, who gesticulated and exclaimed, “Wow, that's unbelievable. That's the best cacio e pepe I've ever had. Worth going to that restaurant just for this.” Adventurous eaters can add uni to this dish for an extra $7.
There was no orecchiette left over, which wasn't a surprise considering each piece of pasta was like a little delightful cheese bomb that exploded in our mouths. Complementing the cheese was an addition of green chile salsa, which gave it the extra dimension it needed.
Overall, both pasta dishes were delicious, and I only wish I had the appetite and/or pants stretchiness to order everything else. Our friendly server noticed my note-taking and offered up a cool tidbit about their pasta: All of it is made in-house, from scratch, with a contraption reminiscent of one of those Play-Doh magic dough machines (his description). So if fresh noodles cooked to al dente perfection are your thing, Spaghetti Bros. is the place.
Though our bellies were full, as a personal rule, there is always room for dessert. If anyone asks, the lemon ricotta cheesecake was also what my dentist ordered, so we split that decadent treat and had absolutely no regrets. It was rich and creamy, chilled to the right temperature, and made all the better by the tangy huckleberry glaze.
Spaghetti Bros. has it all: food, service, atmosphere, and a pasta-making machine, proof that even bros have redeeming qualities.
Spaghetti Bros., 3213 Scott 415.400.8500