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Quince Bistro

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I read that this is a new restaurant opening in Needham . Does anyone know where? Is it open, and, if so has anyone been?

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    GaryLovesFood

    It's in the former spot of Vicky Lee Boyajian, on Great Plain Ave, at the corner of Chestnut. Haven't been there yet. Not sure if they are open yet, I drive by every morning on the way to work and the new name just appeared days ago.

    7 Replies
    1. re: GaryLovesFood

      THanks. It is about time that Vikki Lee's closed. Also, I got a postcard from Vikki Lee(herself)saying she is opening a new restaurant in Belmont. I wonder if the name confusion issue had anything to do with the Needham closing. When I go i will post it.

      1. re: emilief

        I actually went there last night. The place is amazing! The decor is trendy yet comfortable and has a great bistro feel about it. The wine list consists primarily of half-bottles of wine making it easy to try a couple of different things, and they even have five or six different sparkling wines by the glass which is fun. The food was outstanding! I had crab cakes for a first course, and a pasta with mushroom cream sauce and baby vegetables for a main course, both were great.

        The best part is the desserts. Quince has an in-house pastry chef who created Profiteroles (sp?) with bananas and caramel that was seriously heavenly!

        Having been to the old VLB, I can tell you that Quince is a major improvment and an exciting addition to suburban dining choices!

        1. re: PsyDFoodie

          How were the prices? And do you know if they are open at lunch? I work in the area so lunch is more my concern.

          Has Al Fresco (next to Indigo) opened yet? I saw bistro tables out front but didn't look open.

          1. re: cvb

            The prices were reasonable, entrees were all under $28, with portions being consitent with Bistro food--you'll definetly have enough to be satisfied and possibly have some left over. Quince is only open for dinner...and I'm not sure about the other place you asked about. Hope that helps.

            1. re: cvb

              The Place you are referring to is Fresca or Fresco- ( not Al Fresco) it is owned by Greeks and serves Greek food. Is open for breakfast and lunch only. I have not been but I have a friend who had been several times and says the food is good.

              1. re: emilief

                Thanks, I think I am one of the few who misses Four Seasons for greek (their kabobs and greek salad were perfect for lunch).

                I am laughing that I typed Al Fresco, that was the name of a sandwich shop in TX. Guess it always made me laugh so I typed it without thinking!
                Thanks again

                1. re: cvb

                  I've had lunch at Fresco a couple of times, and enjoyed it a lot. It tends to get quite busy at lunch time. Their greek salad is really good...huge chunk of feta...mmm. Also liked grape leaves, avgolemono soup, etc. I heard a rumor somewhere, maybe on here, that they hope to get a liquor license and open for dinner, which would be great.

      2. The new Vicki Lee's (not yet open when I last drove by) is in the former Cafe Cakes location at the corner of Common & Trapelo in Cushing Square.

        Speaking of Cafe Cakes (now at the bottom of Galen St, near Watertown Sq.), they still have not opened either, though it looks fairly done inside.

        1. Quince in Needham. The most spectacular food--when it's at its best. Howver, having had dinner here many, many times, I (and guests) have found fare to be inconsistent. The same item that was absolutely superb on one visit, sometimes varies on the next visit. Yet, I must recommend Quince. Most dishes, most day are just too delectable to pass up. The chef, Ian Grossman, is charming. The pastry chef completes a wonderful menu. The staff is accommodating. Decor does not work for me, but we don't eat the walls or drapes--luckily. Some nice wines can be found from a limited selection. As a side-bar: Their catering department goes all out and prepares most any menu item (and many non-menu items)to order. In brief: On good day A to A+, on bad day B-.

          1. I had a very nice time at Quince, everything about the place was just very nice, great wine list that was fun, great food, it was really a nice experience overall. I can't complain about a single thing I had that night.

            1. I had my least satisfying dining experience of the year at Quince. Figured I'd tell my story FYI.

              Quince was offering "Harvest Tasting Plate" which sounded really interesting. I asked if they could do vegetarian for both me and my wife. We were looking to really explore the kitchen, but didn't have the time for a multi-course tasting menu. Given that they sell themselves as super-creative, "have it your way" chefs, I figured that would be no problem. In fact, they said - no problem.

              The meal comes with free 1/2 bottles of wine. We said no thanks.

              The plates came and they were little dabs of things - corn flan, 1 ravioli, sauteed eggplant. Not only was it a small amount of food, but it was all things off the menu, so nothing interesting or different. Basically, we got 5 samples of appetisers on the menu. (Of course, had we ordered the appetisers directly, it would have been a lot more food for a lot less money).

              Price was $45 each - we figured with vegetarian instead, and with no wine - maybe would be cheaper. Nope - got charged $90 for two plates of uninspired food.

              To contrast, we also recently went to Oleana, where for $40 each we did the vegetarian tasting menu and had 5 large, delicious courses plus desert- really fantastic food and value.

              1. Boy, this restaurant certainly gets mixed reviews, doesn't it? I had one of my *best* dining experiences of the year at Quince last week.

                My wife and I and another couple had a 6 PM reservation at Quince on Tuesday of last week. We considered going to Sweet Basil right up until we walked through the door, due to the mixed reviews of Quince we had read here.

                The place was almost empty, and stayed that way throughout the night – there was never more than four tables filled in the 2-1⁄2 hours we were there.

                We began inauspiciously, when one of our party set his menu on fire! Note to Quince staff – low open flames on tables are a bad idea!

                We looked at the menu, and noted that, as another poster has mentioned, they offer a “design your own dinner” option. We decided we would try that. The waitress fetched the chef, who sat down with us. We talked about our likes and dislikes, and also what items on the menu we thought sounded appealing. We then left the choices (and the price), in his hands.

                His result was a seven course dinner – four appetizers, two entrees, and dessert, each course paired with wine. While waiting for our first course, we had several baskets of the delicious bread.

                Our courses (and my comments):

                First, the appetizers:

                Grilled oyster with celeriac slaw paired with a sauvignon blanc
                This was just one oyster, but very good.

                Cauliflower soup with chestnuts (wine forgotten). About a 4 oz portion – very tasty.

                Foie gras with quince, served with a sauternes. This was superb – absolutely delicious. (I think this may have been the only item not on the menu.) I’m not an expert on foie gras, but one of our party was – and she said it was the best she’d ever had in the Boston area.

                Cresta di gallo pasta with a toasted garlic sauce and house-made pork and fennel sausage. I like this one a lot. I think the wine was a Riesling.

                The entrees:

                Cod wrapped in prosciutto with mashed potato and quince sauce, served with a gewürztraminer. For me, at least, this one didn’t work. Cooking ruins prosciutto (IMHO), and the cod was just plain boring. I did like the potatoes and quince sauce.

                Rib Eye with wild mushroom sauce and frites, served with Pinot Noir. The steak was good, but not great. I liked the mushroom sauce. The star was the frites – I note that the chef has worked at Sel de la Terre, and these were pretty much Sel de la Terre’s frites.

                Dessert:
                Ice cream filled profiteroles, with bananas and caramel sauce, served with a late harvest sauvignon blanc. I loved it.

                The chef helped serve many of the courses, and asked us for frequent feedback. Service was superb – we were always well taken care of, but not to the point of the service being intrusive. The pacing of the courses was just right. One of my pet peeves is empty water glasses, and my water glass never got below half-full (or was it half-empty :-) ).

                The price was a very reasonable (IMHO) $70 per person - $45 for the food, and $25 for wine. I was totally stuffed after dinner. There’s nothing I had (except for the cod), that I wouldn’t want to have again.

                1. sounds like you got a lot more value for your money than we did!

                  1. Just had a birthday dinner there. Food was fine, but staff and service were kind of rough for a white linen tablecloth place. We had reservations and were greeted with an offhand gesture that we should hang our coats on some odd metal coat-trees by the door. Coffee was cold. It seemed as if the owner(s) had lost interest in training or managing the staff.

                    1. Four of us had dinner last night. Two had the $35 prix fixe menu - sea bass over couscous. Only negative was the tasteless couscous. The other entree was shrimp with parpardelle. Nice tangy sauce, shrimp tasty. Tried the crab cakes - very good. Had a nice Spanish wine. Place relatively empty - but it was a Tuesday night. Second visit - a good spot.