Saturday, September 22, 2007

Quince Restaurant, San Francisco, CA

We've been hearing about Quince and its chef, Michael Tusk, for a while. Quince itself has been around for several years, so it's not exactly new news, but still, we hadn't been there and it is one of San Francisco's fine dining establishments, so we felt it our duty to give it a try. Although I don't think we'd go back by ourselves, Quince's French/Italian dishes seem like they'd be great for a mixed generation get together. The dishes are familiar enough for a grandma but sophisticated enough for modern types. The dining room is decidedly old-school and there was bit of a funky smell that we couldn't quite place that lasted throughout the night. But the dining room is pleasantly neutral and the waitstaff helpful and friendly. They were doing really well with the water test (serving Giao his sparkling and Alexis her tap, until the last 10 minutes).

We opted for the 5 course tasting menu at $95 per person and had the wine pairings for $55 per person. The wine pairings were totally on point. The food was good, but not great, with a few exceptions.

Shallot and Anise Butter-Soaked Rolls and Parmasean Breadsticks
We are rarely enamored by bread, but this was certainly an exception. The delightful little rolls were soft and squishy and seemed to have been dipped in a flavored, melted butter. Yum. The super-crispy, very parm-y breadsticks were the perfect counterpoint.

Lobster Salad with Fresh Soy Beans, Haricot Verts and Cherry Tomatoes
This was a great first dish. The lobster was perfectly cooked--tender and sweet. The use of soybeans was inventive. Overall, this was a very solid dish.

John Dory with Cauliflower Puree and Basil
The fish was a tad overcooked for our taste, but probably not overcooked for most people. The cauliflower puree embodied the essence of cauliflower and was silky smooth. The other veggies didn't really add much.

Tagliolini with Dungeness Crab, Cherry Tomato and Opal Basil
This dish sort of felt like some pasta with a couple of chunks of crab thrown on it as an afterthought. Pretty disappointing.

Garganelli with Rabbit, Artichoke and Marjoram
Another pasta dish, although this time it tasted more like a well rounded dish--more about the sauce than the pasta. The rabbit was earthy and tasty, although the artichokes didn't add much.

Ribeye with Vinegar Braised Shallots and Sunchoke Puree
They didn't ask us how we wanted our beef cooked, but it came out medium rare, so hat was ok. The beef was tender and this dish was tasty, but it was not special by any means.

Seven Cheeses $34
We decided to supplement our meal with a cheese course because the cheese cart looked like it had a lot of great stuff that we hadn't tried before. We loved all but one.
Pave au Pruneau--a soft goat from Perigord, France
Carmody--a firm, caramely cow from Valley Ford, CA
Tomme du Bonhomme--a cow studded with thyme from Alsace, France
Grafton Cheddar--a tangy, slightly harsh cow from Grafton, VT
Durrus--a very tasty semi-soft cow fro County Cork, Ireland
Affidelice--a pungent, Epoisse-like cow, with a washed rind from Chablis, France
Old Chatham Camembert--a domestic double creme from Chatham, NY

Creme Fraiche Panna Cotta with Strawberry Basil Sorbet
A light, fresh dessert. The panna cotta was good, but standard, while the sorbet was quite delicious.

1701 Octavia St
San Francisco, CA 94109

Food: 1
Decor: 1
Service: 1

Health Code Violations

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