Quince Report - Incredible Experience
I normally don't write restaurant reviews, but I find myself unable to stop thinking about my experience last weekend at Quince.
I went last Saturday with my girlfriend for her birthday. Once we walked in, we were impressed. To start off with, the space inside quince is beautiful. Small, intimate, modern, classy, romantic. The server was a bit slow to take our order initially, but once we got going, service was impeccable and professional.
The magic truly started when the food arrived. We ordered 3 pasta dishes and one entree to share between two of us. Pasta is my first love, and I have pasta at almost every opportunity I get, so I was excited to try out pastas as Quince. Our first dish was a ravioli with six different fillings (2 kinds of cheeses, spinach, 2 kinds of beets, fava beans). The pasta itself was very delicate yet not too soft. Each of the fillings was extraordinarily flavorful yet still very light and pleasant. To top it off, there was a wonderful cheese sprinkled around the ravioli. It was by far the best ravioli I've ever had. My favorite was the ravioli filled with the fava bean puree - truly a statement since I generally do not like fava beans. For a restaurant to be able to turn something I don't like into something I do is quite rare and has only happened a couple times in my life.
The next pasta dish was their gnocchi. Possibly the best gnocchi I've ever had (despite what you might think, I almost never use such superlatives - but Quince really deserves it) - the texture of the gnocchi was perfectly chewy, moist, and tender, yet not mushy in any way. The sauce the gnocchi was in a nice and simple (not too heavy) cream sauce which was very pleasant.
Finally, we had agnolotti stuffed with veal, chicken and rabbit. Again - the pasta was tender and extraordinarily well done. The stuffing was flavorful and complex - you could taste each of the meats, even though they were all combined together.
After my blissful experience with the three pasta dishes, the rest of the night I was deliriously happy. They could have been very average the rest of the night and still had me raving about them. Despite this, I was still very impressed by our entree - we had a tai snapper with artichoke, artichoke puree, and artichoke chips, sitting in olive oil, with fresh peas on the side. The thai snapper was very well done - crispy on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside. The peas seem as if they were fresh from the garden and very tasty, and the olive oil was a very nice compliment to the artichoke and snapper.
Finally, for dessert we had a "strawberry floating island" - strawberries in a sweet cream with a beautiful sugar-spun decoration on top. This dish shone more in its presentation and its novelty, but the strawberries were fresh and sweet.
It was also the nice little touches that really pushed this restaurant to the top of my list - from a birthday greeting printed on the menu, to four different waiters wishing my girlfriend happy birthday, to speedy, helpful service, to having my car already ready for me outside after my meal (they had told the valets we were ready to go after we paid, I'm guessing). They made a special occasion even more special.
I've been to Incanto, Delfina, Perbacco, etc... many of the top Italian-y restaurants in the city. This tops them all.
My experience (and of many others) is of having the best pasta in my life at Quince. Ordering three pasta dishes sounds like the way to Quince culinary heaven, though I thought the other dishes were also quite good.
Aside from good pasta, Quince is all class. Tell them that it's a special occasion, and they'll print your name and said occasion on the menu so you can take it home with you. Some may find it unnecessary but the personal touch says it all.