Phx - Quiessence questions
I had won the gift certificate for Quiessence at the silent auction at the West of Western, and tomorrow is the night to cash it in! I'm really looking forward to our first visit to the Farm at South Mountain.
Has anybody been recently? I know to expect a leisurely paced dinner (which we enjoy). I was wondering if the tasting menu is the way to go, or a la carte, and how are the wine pairings? How is the charcuterie? Thanks in advance!
6106 S 32nd Street, Phoenix, AZ 85042
We LOVED Quiessence - what a gem of a place.
We drove in just as the sun was setting, which started our evening off with such beautiful light in this peaceful setting. We had reserved a table on the patio, and it turned out to be a perfect night for al fresco dining, surrounded by twinkle lights and chirping birds. We each started with a glass of wine - for E a Pinot Noir, and a Pinot Grigio for me. Later we ordered a bottle of French Chablis with dinner.
We absolutely loved the menu, and yay the food lived up to the setting. We took the advice here and ordered a la carte. We started with two of the "Signature Tastes" for two - The "Chef's Spread" with charcuterie and cheese, and the "Fruits of the Sea" seafood platter. What a start - I wanted the charcuterie while my husband felt like seafood, but both of these were winners and I highly recommend. First up was the seafood. I loved how every component of the platter was so fresh and flavorful - Duxbury oysters, Maine lobster claws, and local Gila Bend shrimp,served with a pickled onion aioli and a citrusy lemon mignonette. The charcuterie included sliced cured pork and beef sausage, coppa, rillette with tiny celery hearts on crostini from the brick oven, thinly sliced headcheese garnished with shallots served on a crispy lavash cracker over a salad of pickled carrots and golden turnips, and a creamy smoked gouda.
It was a lot of food to start, so we decided to skip entrees, share a salad, and each order a pasta. Our fantastic waiter James recommended the summer squash salad to me - I told him it was even better than he described. Summer squash "scapece" salad with baby arugula and Black Mesa Ranch goat cheese. What a delicious mix of fresh, flavorful ingredients, and I loved the texture of the squash - marinated, thinly sliced, and grilled. For entrees, the pasta was excellent, and we each declared the dish we had ordered the better of the two. For E, the hand-made fazzoletti pasta with beef and pork ragu, and for me the Rainbow Valley farmer's cheese gnocchi with sage, brown butter, and peaches. Of course, I had to have a cheese plate to finish, while E ordered the goat cheese cheesecake. Creamy, rich, with a nice tang from the cheese. I like to think I make the best cheesecake (heh), but said to E "this is even better than mine!". Highly recommend this. To accompany my cheese plate, I couldn't decide - did I want a dessert wine, no, maybe a cognac - so asked James to choose something for me. Calvados was just perfect, especially with my cheeses, which he also chose - San Joaquin Gold, Fidalini bandaged cheddar, and Old Chatham Hudson Valley Ewe’s Blue. All this was accompanied by crostini, walnuts, almonds, and juicy peach slices.
We had such a wonderful time and I really appreciate the relaxed atmosphere and leisurely pace to enjoy lingering over this type of meal - all focusing on such seasonal and fresh ingredients prepared by two very talented chefs. Service was excellent. James was informative, friendly, enthusiastic, and patient with my many questions. We'll definitely be back, maybe on a Tuesday or Thursday when they have live music. We also look forward to booking the Brick Oven Table for a special occasion. This cozy area is set off to the side, and can be reserved with a special chef's tasting menu with the chefs personally customizing a multi-course dinner for your table. Sounds perfect.
Themis (or anyone else), if you're interested, let me know and I'll type out what the menu was Wednesday night.
(I just wanted to add that the entrance is on S 32nd Street. We followed our GPS, which was a bit confusing since it led us in the back way on S 30th).
re: Molto E
Charcuterie is quiet good, but when I ate there the pastas were the stars of the meal. We ordered a la carte and did not pair with each course rather asked for suggestions as to what bottles of wine to drink. They made solid recomendations and the wines matched well. Be prepared for a very pleasent meal in a very pleasent setting, just don't expect to be blown away.