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Quince? Aquerello? or....

m
Maya Dec 9, 2004 01:06 PM

We're looking for a special anniversary place for January, and have thought of Quince or Aquerello. We generally prefer the smaller, more intimate places to the "important" places like Gary Danko or Masa's. It should also definitely not be noisy.

I'd love to try either, but I've heard that Quince has tables squished together and is a bit noisy. Is this true?

Does anyone have any other ideas?

Thanks!

  1. j
    jaweino Dec 16, 2004 01:19 AM

    Quince and Aquerello are two of my favorite places, but I don't think of Quince as romantic. It can be noisy. I love the back room at La Folie. It is tucked away from the main action and the food is very good. Another place to consider would be Merenda.

    I think Absinthe is trendy and full of action, but again I wouldn't call it romantic, and the service can be awful. We won't go there anymore.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jaweino
      r
      Robert Lauriston Dec 18, 2004 11:56 AM

      We eat at Absinthe fairly often, and have yet to have bad service. Seems to me like one of the most professionally run restaurants in the city.

    2. r
      Roscoe Dec 14, 2004 01:33 AM

      It's French, but I love Absinthe. Eaten there half a dozen times, the service is a little strange, can't quite put my finger on it, but the room's great, great wines, but the food is truly special, this guy's the original chef and he is un-sung, not sung and should be sung.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Roscoe
        r
        Robert Lauriston Dec 15, 2004 04:26 PM

        Absinthe's on my current short list (along with Chez Panisse and Zuni) for Valentine's Day / anniversary / wife's birthday celebrations.

      2. s
        spicetart Dec 10, 2004 11:51 AM

        Haven't been to Aquerello but was blown away by Quince. I would love to take my boyfriend for a romantic dinner there despite it not being too intimate. I think it's romantic to be served amazing food and wine by knowledgable people who really appreciate what they are doing and take good care of you. That allows the diner to focus on the sensual experience with the person and people you are with.

        But it's not quiet!

        1. c
          christinet Dec 9, 2004 06:11 PM

          Have dined at Quince since it's opening---have been very disappointed in the food, esp. entrees and desserts on last visits. Service continues to be professional, that is very formal. Atmosphere of room can be rather stuffy and "precious" (library like with no joie de vivre or fun attitude), esp. woman owner/"greeter" who is very chilly. Only wonderful warm person we have encountered is the woman waiter with dark hair and black rimmed glasses who is excellent. Aquerello sounds much more of a good choice.

          5 Replies
          1. re: christinet
            k
            k. gerstenberger Dec 10, 2004 11:15 AM

            No one goes there any more, the place is always jammed. I don't get it. "Chilly" greeter. Disapointed in the food since it's opening. "Stuffy" and "precious". Bury the hatchet would ya?
            Some restaurants have the curse of rubbing people wrong, and Quince seems to have gotten under your skin. There's a greeter owner at Dona Tomas who also ruffles people's feathers.

            When it's clearly not your kinda place, does this mean that flogging it is justified? I guess it's just part of the range of response.

            They are not rude (in my experience). Service is on its toes. The dining room is small and in high demand. The kitchen is hard at work finding prime local ingredients and cooking with heart and soul.

            P.S.: In the spirit of full disclosure, I've worked with the Tusks and they're friends

            1. re: k. gerstenberger
              j
              Javier T Dec 10, 2004 12:58 PM

              In the posters defense, I have had similar experiences at Quince. It went from being one of my favorite restaurants (I dined there on average every two weeks for the first 6 months they were open) to leaving a bit of a sour taste in my mouth. I think the food is still very high quality but service has taken a nose dive in the sense that the attention to detail they first had is not quite there anymore. On my last visit the waiter was blatantly rude to the diners next to us. The diners were polite, albeit a bit unsophisticated and asked some basic questions. The server treated them like hicks for the evening and rushed them through their meal. They wanted coffee and he refused to bring it to them telling them he needed their table. They had barely been there 50 minutes. That is a rather quick table turn. With us he just acted indifferent and made a couple of service errors. However, his attitude to the table next to us made us feel uncomfortable. All of this got compounded by having a party of 6 standing in the room and bumping into my back for nearly 40 minutes while they waited for their table. Overall, it was a very usatisfying $250+ dining experience. I figure I will wait a month or two and try again. Perhaps, they are just overwhelmed from all the press. Hope it returns to its old self.

              If you read other posts, it seems that many people have had similar experiences recently.

              1. re: k. gerstenberger
                w
                whoa Dec 10, 2004 02:14 PM

                you need to relax, the poster was just giving his/her opinion of the service, after all, bad service is bad service, no need to attack the poster

                not only that, there was a complaint about the food quality also

                having said that, i enjoyed my dining experience at quince ( i dined there once in the past 3 month period) service was ok too

                1. re: k. gerstenberger
                  s
                  stacy c Dec 12, 2004 12:17 PM

                  On my last visit to Quince (my 3rd), we too were rushed out. Seems that Robin Williams dropped in with a party of 6 (he lives in the neighborhood) and that threw off the seating. But, I have to admit, we were also unsuccessful in cracking the frosty demeanor of our server. I mean, he would NOT respond to our upbeat mood - in fact, he really killed it. So, when they tried to push us out by moving us to the service bar! for dessert (a joke, b/c there really is no service bar of note) we gladly exited. That was really disappointing.

                  1. re: k. gerstenberger
                    s
                    stacy c Dec 12, 2004 12:17 PM

                    On my last visit to Quince (my 3rd), we too were rushed out. Seems that Robin Williams dropped in with a party of 6 (he lives in the neighborhood) and that threw off the seating. But, I have to admit, we were also unsuccessful in cracking the frosty demeanor of our server. I mean, he would NOT respond to our upbeat mood - in fact, he really killed it. So, when they tried to push us out by moving us to the service bar! for dessert (a joke, b/c there really is no service bar of note) we gladly exited. That was really disappointing.

                2. m
                  MikeW Dec 9, 2004 03:58 PM

                  La Folie is quiet and fairly small. I like Aquerello better than Quince. The portions are very small at Quince, I meal really small. Quince is the least intimate of the three.

                  1. d
                    DavidT Dec 9, 2004 03:13 PM

                    I have not been to Quince. I am a fan of Acquerello. I think it is one of the most elegant (without being stuffy) small restaurants in SF. It is located in what used to be a chapel and the room is very pleasant. The food is very good too!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: DavidT
                      r
                      Robert Lauriston Dec 9, 2004 07:23 PM

                      Aquerello's space used to be Zola's, before that a funeral parlor.

                    2. n
                      nja Dec 9, 2004 01:33 PM

                      Acquerello is one of the quietest restaurants I have been to in SF.

                      Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

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