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Quince or Chez Panisse

We're going to have a family birthday party in a couple of weeks; we went to Chez Panisse about 13 years ago and liked it (it was a Monday, their least expensive night; this time will be a Wednesday). I've also heard that Quince is good. I gather both places should be calm enough to hear ourselves talk, at least on a week night (no hard liquor at either one.)

Which is the best bet? I read that Alice Waters is on leave from Chez Panisse - has this affected the food or the service?

Any similar places that come to mind as being better than either one but in the same price range?

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  1. Chez is always wonderful, but I would choose Quince. The food is phenomenal, you haven't been there, you can absolutely have an easy and wonderful conversation, service is great, and it is just as much an experience as Chez...try it out and report back on your choice.

    1. There's really noplace else like Chez Panisse.

      Mixed reports on Quince here, use the search.

      1. i actually prefer the cafe at chez panisse over the main dining room - i don't like that you all eat the same meal in the dining room. the food in the cafe is wonderful and you can order lots of different things. i would choose the cafe over quince, but quince over the dining room.

        1. Quince is wonderful. I find Chez Panisse to be overrated.

            1. re: zin1953

              Qunice is very unique, fantastic service and food in a very quaint but stylish environment.