Quince, San Francisco #TBT

This is more a review of the experience than of the food. #sorrynotsorry

One summer evening in 2017, I dolled myself up and treated myself to a fancy dinner. I’d been to Quince before—in 2013, with an ex-boyfriend. This evening, however, I was on a date with me.

When you dine alone, staff can be jerks and be condescending. But I felt well taken care of.

The tasting menu was accompanied by a host of amuse bouches, palate cleansers and random treats, so that by the time I left I was stuffed to the gills.

Not a single dish was too heavy. Every single dish was balanced and absolutely delicious.

Each bite was absolutely exquisite—and satisfying! The tasting menu was the perfect orchestra of unadulterated natural flavors, complete with ideal cadence and thematic evolution: from light and whimsical like an allegro, to bold and fulfilling like the last movement of a symphony.

Every single ingredient had obviously been transformed, but I was still able to pick them out—so gently treated the ingredients had been. “Tea” of herbs and vegetables, lobster allowed to just be lobster, pasta served virtually unadorned—these beautiful, in-seasoned ingredients were allowed to be themselves.

Funny story about the post-dessert course desserts: Because the staff was aware of my lactose allergy, there was one floor staff who took the utmost care to ensure that I didn’t pick the treats that contained the slightest bit of dairy. He snatched the plate from me (!) and returned with “safer” alternatives.

I really really wanted some truffles, dairy be damned! But it was so amusing I didn’t protest.

The generous attention continued. Toward the end of the meal, I was offered piping hot madeleines, fresh from the oven. I was given a tour of the wine cellar and a tasting of the most amazing tequila I’ve ever had. And before stepping out into the night, a small paper cup of hot chocolate was pushed into my hands to brace myself against the chill.

THE VERDICT: Go to Quince. Go alone or go with friends—just go. The food will be jaw-dropping, but the service will entice you to stay long after the last truffle. Quince, you have my love and loyalty.

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