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Mar 7, 2009 04:39 AM

Quince -Short Review

Overall, a really nice experience. It's a lovely space. Much larger in scale inside then I expected. Two of us were comfortably seated at a table for 4.
The menu has nice elements of creativity given this restaurant is not necessarily a 'destinaion' place but rather a local institution as exemplified by what were clearly regulars that the chef came out to chat with.
Service was efficient, & knowledgable if somewhat perfunctory.
I found the prices & portions reasonable & plentiful respectfully.
I wanted to love the food given the consistently positive reviews on this site.
Unfortunately, my opinion of the food is jaded by the overwhelming oversalting of nearly ALL the food. Dining experiences occasionally are sprinkled (pun intended) with oversalted dishes but my experience at Quince found more dishes than not to suffer from this heavy handedness. My concern wasn't elevated initially by the too salty flatbread (The rest of the bread in the basket was great as was the hummus spread) or the grilled rapini, which would have been excellent if not for the salt (this is to be a recurring theme). The ) quinoa and squash (actually a side dish) I ordered as a starter was salty to the point of inedible. The dousing of the dish in olive oil left a somewhat unpleasant mouthfeel. I had to send it back.
My partner had the short ribs appetizer which he said was excellent.
Our mains were seared scallops that came with a lentil, mushroom combination done with a smoked bacon vinegrette. The dish was delicious, the scallops were perfectly cooked. Of course, there could have been less salting on the scallops. The lentils were also drowning in olive oil.
The fish of the day was mediteranean sea bass with a salad of potatoes, avocado, tomato & asparagus. The accompaniments were good but the fish had too much salt (why??).

Didn't have dessert although the chocolate bread pudding with banana sounded to die for.
Again, I really wanted to like this place. I'm willing to try it again because I could taste the potential. I would hope that the heavy handed sodium and olive oil is not a recurrent theme.
The above food with 1/2 litre of wine, 2 cocktails incl tax (not tip) was $122.

Small quibble: On an additional sheet on the menu there are mentions of the websites of a few of our city's lovely farmer's markets including brickworks and dufferin grove. For a seemingly conscientious restaurant there was nothing organic or natually raised mentioned on the menu and they disappointingly use farmed atlantic salmon in their salmon .

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    1. I went to Quince during winterlicious this year and wasn't blown away.
      The bread they served at the table was stale.
      The Salmon was a good portion, but the bed of couscous it was served with had way to much olive oil in it.
      The service we had was not great (maybe we had a bad waiter) they served the men first, I know I might be picky but in most restaurants you seat the lady and take her order first.
      Also our server didn't know the drink menu very well because he struggled to remember what martinis were sweet or sour.

      The saving grace for this restaurant was the desert. The chocolate bread pudding was amazing, as was the salted caramel cheese cake. It was the highlight of our meal.

      I was happy to pay $25+drinks for the meal we got (minus the 3tbs of oil in my couscous) but I would have a hard time convincing myself or my friends to go back for full price mains... maybe just drinks and desert.

      1. i was at quince last night for the first time

        i had the dutch poutine appetizer, gnocchi in lamb ragu, and chocolate banana bread putting as a dessert. i thought the food was good, not great, though i thought the way the dutch poutine was presented was pretty awful. it was literally a bunch of fries w/ the lamh on a stick on top of it that resembled a sausage. it tasted okay, but the way it looked was honestly a bit unappetizing. my gnocchi were delicious! i just wish there were more of them :P. the dessert was also quite tasty

        i didn't find my food oversalted, but quite a few others at my table complained that the food was too salty as well. they had the steak, pork chop and salmon. i did have a taste of the rapini and i had to agree todc1996's comment, there was a delicious almost smokey flavour, but way too much salt! i only wanted to have the one