Tuesday, May 3, 2016

QUINCE (SAN FRANCISCO, CA)

Quince
470 Pacific Ave
San Francisco, CA 94133
www.quincerestaurant.com
Tel: 415.775.8500
$$$$ ($50+) $198 Prix fixe menu
Sat, 03/26/2016, 9:00pm reservation
     (5 Piglets)




San Francisco is one very lucky city. It is full of exquisite restaurants. The city houses one of the most delicious eateries I was capable of visiting: Quince, a two Michelin starred restaurant delivering Italian-French cuisine.

Michael Tusk, the executive chef and owner of Quince has done something pretty amazing; he brings the most delectable seasonal ingredients and constructs dishes that are contemporary and flavorful. The food is innovative and made with precision. The d├ęcor is simple, bringing artful pieces as its focal point. The restaurant itself is separated between the main dining room that presents its tasting menu and a salon where diners can opt to order dishes a la carte. The service was impeccable, and let's be honest, so was the food.


The salon


The dining room


Champagne to start
Delicious


CANAPE
CANAPE: CHICHARON: This was my favorite of the three. Crispy with a burst of flavor


CANAPE: CROQUETTE: The croquette was done superbly. The exterior was crisp while the inside was creamy just the way I like it.
COURSE ONE: HAMMERSLEY OYSTER: Samphire, Green Strawberry, Lemon Verbena. The oyster was fresh and the lemon verbena gave it a hint of zesty flavor. There was a good amount of acidity to the dish and I would say this was constructed well. A good start to the meal.
A closer look at the oyster

MY FAVORITE DISH. COURSE TWO: TSAR NICOULAI RESERVE CAVIAR: Champagne, Leek, Chive. The caviar was fresh and delicious. Caviar was delicately placed onto a crispy, toasted brioche that offered a balance of salty and sweet. The accompaniment of the caviar and foam was just the right touch. I was surprised at the amount of caviar delivered onto the plate. Definitely not complaining on this one. The dish was well-composed and delicious in all aspects. I could eat this forever!

A closer look at the brioche and caviar
A closer look at the caviar and foam
COURSE THREE: GREEN ASPARAGUS: Anchovy, Burrata, Nasturtium. The asparagus was cooked perfectly, a slight crunch with a bright green color. The burrata wasn't just any burrata: it was composed into an ice cream! Who would've thought burrata ice cream and asparagus could taste so good together? It was like eating a garden in heaven!
A closer look at the green asparagus
COURSE FOUR: WHITE ASPARAGUS: Black Cod, English Pea, Prosciutto Cotto. The white asparagus was fresh. The black cod was melt-in-your mouth. Simple and elegant.
COURSE FIVE: GNUDI: Double 8 Dairy Buffalo Milk Ricotta, Fava Bean. I appreciate that the chefs were able to bring Spring to the table. The gnudi was soft and not at all gummy or rubbery. The dish was light and airy and well-balanced.
COURSE SIX: CASONCELLI: Beet, Lemon Leaf, Bayley Hazen Blue. Casoncelli is a type of stuffed pasta from the northern part of Italy. It looks like a potsticker, but tastes nothing like it. It was filled with a delicate blue cheese where the pasta was made out of beets. The beets complemented the blue cheese filling, which luckily, wasn't overpowering.
COURSE SEVEN: FARM EGG: Carrot, Perigord Truffle, Sunchoke. Who doesn't like an egg? This delicate dish was creamy and full of goodness. The carrot and truffle were very subtle. It was like eating a delicious and creamy soup in an eggshell.

A closer look at the egg dish

COURSE EIGHT: TAGLIATELLE DI FARRO: Suckling Pig, Paine Farm Squab, Morel. I love tagliatelle. I loved the way they cooked it perfectly al dente. The morels gave the dish an earthy tone to the dish. My only complaint, and it's a small one, was that I felt that the meat needed a bit more seasoning. Otherwise, I would've loved every bit of this dish.

COURSE NINE: WATSON FARM SPRING LAMB: Green Garlic, Fiddlehead Fern, Golden Marjoram. The lamb rack from the local farm was cooked perfectly to a medium-rare. The sauce was delicious. Again, my only complaint is that it just needed a bit more salt to bring out the flavor.

The lamb meatball that accompanied the lamb broth. It is basically lamb belly that is sous vide then fried crispy and filled with grilled onion and sausage. Delicious!

COURSE TEN: RHUBARB: Hibiscus, Kumquat, Mandarin. This dish is a palate cleanser. It was definitely zesty and neutralized my tongue in a good way. A little bitter from the kumquat, but that's expected.

COURSE ELEVEN: STRAWBERRY: Buttermilk, Sorrel, White Chocolate. This was a nice, cool touch to end the meal. The white chocolate concrete/meringue component reminded me of the same texture I had in another dish at Alinea. The dessert was refreshing and not heavy, which I appreciated.  
COURSE TWELVE: MIGNARDISES: Chocolates, Confections. Passion Fruit Tart
COURSE TWELVE: MIGNARDISES: Chocolates, Confections: Chili Truffle, Macarons, Meringues

COURSE TWELVE: MIGNARDISES: Chocolates, Confections.
COURSE TWELVE: MIGNARDISES: Chocolates, Confections. So, the way course twelve works is that they roll out a cart full of goodies that you wish you could eat forever and you choose whatever your heart desires. I was extremely full by then but I had to pick out these delicacies. I chose four of the many options and I was quite happy with my choices. My favorite was the tart.
And if that wasn't enough, they send you home with a hot chocolate for your taxi ride back!




A part of the kitchen
Another view of the kitchen
Expediting

A cold shot of beautiful alcohol that melts in your mouth
A truffle pasta on the house. This dish needs to be on the menu at all times cause it's seriously as good as it looks!
Overall, Quince lives up to the two Michelin stars it is awarded. Michael Tusk brings farm to table food with a sense of sophistication and finesse. The food is defined by the freshness of the food and its seasons. Each dish is well thought out, bringing a dining experience that is happiness to the palate. I would categorize this restaurant as memorable and one of the better restaurants I have visited in my lifetime. It's a must visit whilst in San Francisco!


With Chef De Cuisine Adrian Garcia





1 comment:

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