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In a state of hibernation. My backlog has long become unsustainable. Will probably tweet more and write less full-length stuff.

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Sunday
Oct162005

Quince

My brief stay in SF happened to coincide with the visit of my mom's friend Winifred and her husband Mack. She's one of my mom's best friends from all the way back when she was a little kid. I hadn't seen them in a long time so it was good to catch up. Of course, my mom was keen to take them to some places to eat in our fine city.

 

quince.jpg
One of the spots we hit was Quince, which I was quite eager to return to after my last meal there. I was itching to get another taste of their pasta, and this time actually go for 2 pastas rather than one pasta and one main. Quince also fit the bill as a hot SF restaurant to take the guests, so off we were. The place was at capacity as usual, so I guess business is still very good.

fritto of sand dabs with lemon verbena mayonnaise - $10 I was intrigued by this sand dab appetizer. I like sand dabs quite a bit and you don't really see them around as much anymore. I was also feeling lemon verbena at the time, because Kirk's mom had picked one of the lemon verbena leaves from her plant and given it to me as I was leaving their place in Santa Rosa. That thing smelled so great that when I saw lemon verbena on the menu I had to have it. The dish was good, with crusty batter and a nice crunch to it. There were actually a couple of slices of battered and fried lemon slices - peel and all. That was a bit strong, almost bitter, and I think one slice of it rather than two would have been enough. The fish was a bit oversalted, and I would have preferred to let the delicious mayo do more of the work.

garganelli with Georgia white shrimp, cream, white wine & basil - $16 Now this dish was exactly what I was looking for at Quince. Fresh, delicious, textured pasta - a simple joy. The sauce was light but flavorful, and the shrimp were beautiful, with a nice fresh bounce to them.

pappardelle with Hoffman Farm chicken - $15 There were a lot of other interesting pastas on the menu, but I kept getting flashbacks of the pappardelle I had last time and I had to get this. The pasta was, again, wonderful. The chicken was tender and the jus had a very strong chicken-stock type of flavor. But like the sand dabs, this too was a bit oversalted. I still gobbled it up, but it's a shame - it would have been better if they'd gone a little easier on the seasoning.

bay leaf ice cream I was pretty full and didn't feel like getting a whole dessert, and when my dad inquired about just getting some ice cream, our waiter said they had some bay leaf ice cream we could get. To be honest, I'm actually not sure if it was bay leaf - it was some kind of unusual herb or something, but I can't remember. The reason is that while the ice cream was quite excellent, it didn't taste much like whatever the flavor was supposed to be. It was very creamy and delicious though.

I would say that this meal at Quince wasn't as good as my first. They were definitely too liberal with the salt on both the sand dabs and the pappardelle, and that hurt what were otherwise excellent dishes. I still think Quince is a great place, but it really is a bit too hard to get in. Such is the restaurant scene in SF, I guess...

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