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Aug 9, 2006 03:23 AM

What's Quince like?

Just recieved a gift certificate to Quince on Octavia street. I'm wondering if it's hard to get into, how's the menu and general dining experience. Please share any experiences you may have. Thanks so much.

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  1. Quince is a great restaurant. The food is excellent (the best pasta I have had in SF), the service is pro-style and the room is understated, but beautiful. Their wines are a bit over-priced, however. Just be prepared to be the youngest table in the restaurant if you are under fifty...

    2 Replies
    1. re: Husky

      I agree with the age observation. Despite the great meal we had, I felt like the environment was a bit stuffy and stiff. I grew up in pacific heights and it felt like I was eating dinner amongst all the socialite parents of the kids that went to my snobby private high school. That sounds horrible, but it was my impression.

      1. re: AlleyCat

        I lived around the corner in the 70s when that storefront was first converted into a restaurant (Chez Robert), and that was who ate there then.

    2. I think it is excellent. We're in our late 40s and didn't notice the crowd's age, but maybe we just didn't look closely. We sat at the counter. I thought the wine list was great and the mark-ups (2x) low by restaurant standards.

      4 Replies
      1. re: NoeMan

        Just got back from Quince on Sunday. The service is out of this world. Amongst the best service I've had in the city. In many ways, as good as Gary Danko and better than The Dining Room. When making reservations, they asked if it was a special occasion. I said yes. They asked for my name and my significant other's name. When we arrived, our names and occasion were printed on the menu. What a great personal touch. Throughout the evening, the waitress was there when we needed her, and vanished when we didn't. She paused to discuss our wine and gave us a little history on the producer.

        The pappardelle with braised rabbit was amazing. The garganelle with cream, truffles, and peas was also very good. The gnocchi with bolognese was surprisingly weak...especially if you compare it to Incanto's hankerchief pasta with pork ragu. The entree of roasted pork leg with sausage was also very good but again, I liked Incanto's braised pork better.

        The wine list is pricy. There are very few wines in under $50. But there are excellent wines to be sure. Our 2001 Fratelli Barolo was very smooth and elegant and as mentioned, the standard 2x markup.

        Dessert was awesome...a poached nectarine tortina with fiore di latte ice cream.

        Like the previous times, the pastas again outshine the entrees here. The wine list is excellent but very skewed towards the more expensive side. Service is stellar. You will enjoy your gift certificate.

        1. re: Porthos

          Converseley, I had possibly the worst service I have ever encountered on my visit to quince with 3 girlfriends.
          This was disappointing not least because we had a great expectation and our bill was $90+ a head, a price point at which service should be exemplary.
          So much so, I had to write a letter to the restaurant to complain.
          They did call me to apologize, but the experience left such a bitter taste in my mouth, I am not sure I could return there.

          They admitted to me they had a problem, so hopefully the complaints have caused them to sort it out.

          I hope so

        2. re: NoeMan

          When did Quince add a counter?

          1. re: monday

            Yikes I assumed the original post was about Q. I've never been to Quince. Sorry. I also thought the poster felt the crowd was very young, when they actualy meant old. Just returned from Ireland yesterday, must be the jet lag.

        3. Quince in a general sort of description:

          the best of seasonal, sustainable, goodly amount organice Cal-Italian fare. Food is expensive but because it is treated with such care. Their pasta are almost all hand made, their entrees are wonderful, and everything else it too. It can be a bit stiff feeling, but the food is absolutely excellent, the service equally wonderful, and the atmosphere is cozy and subdued ina good way. you definetly need reservations to get in, usually 3 weeks or so ahead of time.

          worth the dough for sure

          1. I had a disappointing meal there. Some of the dishes are good, but it's inconsistent. I think it's overpriced and you can find better Italian food elsewhere. My review is over at SF Station if you want to look for it.

            1 Reply
            1. re: AmySherman

              I have to agree. I thought the portions were small for the price. And before anyone starts with the whole primi/secondi thing, I am well aware. I just think it was expensive for what I received. Most of the dishes were good but for the life of me, I cannot remember any specifics and have never been inspired to return. But hey! You have a gift certificate so money is not really the issue. Go enjoy and please report back. Maybe I will have to go again as I seem to remember a recent glowing report.

            2. 2X undiscounted retail (= 3X wholesale) is in my observation the standard wine markup in San Francisco.