Saturday, June 12, 2004

quince

on thursday night, we had dinner at quince on octavia in the city. the dining room was beautiful. apparently, it used to be the home of an apothecary. i couldn't take my eyes off the chandeliers. they looked like blown glass, kind of an off-white/coral color. looked so alive, so organic, and almost alien.

my family and i were there to celebrate my brother's and his girlfriend's purchase of their first home. we started by sharing a few appetizers. i think everyone's favorite was the striped bass tartare. the fish itself was so flavorful and sweet. it had some kind of horseradish marinade that was fairly strong, but didn't mask the fish at all. it was quite nice. it was served with not so toasted bread shaped like fish. i think i would've preferred something crispier that would've provided some textural contrast. we also had a gorgonzola sformata with walnuts. i didn't really know what sformata was. i had heard of it before and was expecting either something like tender dumplings or a timbale. it turned out to be very much like a souffle in texture, but wasn't served in a ramekin, rather it was unmolded. i tried googling sformata, but i mostly got italian recipes. when i get home i'll check my larousse and italian cookbooks. anyway, i liked the texture, but there was only a faint hint of gorgonzola. hubby, who loves blue cheese, was pretty disappointed. another app was cured king salmon. all i remember is that it was way too salty. the others had another app that included prosciutto, but since i don't eat meat, i really didn't pay much attention.

my second course, which was my entree as well, was spaghetti with lobster and hot pepper. i should've known better than to order spaghetti. quince specializes in pasta dishes made with fresh pasta, but i don't think restaurants that make fresh pasta make their spaghetti. i imagine it has to do with the shape. correct me if i'm wrong. but yeah, the spaghetti tasted like a commercial dried pasta. i'll remember next time. the lobster and hot pepper part was tasty though. hubby had tagliatelle bolognese. he said it was good, but his favorite is still oliveto's. he also had some beef thing (again, since it's meat, i didn't pay much attention) with morels. mmm, the morels were so good. i think they're my favorite fungus. kinda spongy, but not too soft. i love it.

desserts: we ordered five. there were five of us, so it's not like we were totally gorging. i was a bit disappointed. i only liked 2 out of the 5. buckwheat crepes with honey, walnuts and roasted apricots. i always like tangy stuff with enough sweet to offset the tang. the other dessert i liked was chocolate ice cream with stewed cherries. i normally stay away from this combo just because i grew up loving chocolate and not much liking fruit, and the thought of them together...blech. but i've come to like (sometimes love) fruit as i've gotten older. the flavor was really nice. again, the tangy/sweet thing. the ice cream was thick and somewhat chewy like gelato. yummy. everyone liked the ginger cake except me. for the life of me, i can't recall what it was served with. i thought it was too gummy. we also had a plum/blueberry crisp which i didn't care for simply because i don't like crisps. i'm a crust kind of girl. i don't want no stinking oatmeal streusel on top of a ton of cooked fruit. and last AND least, a buttermilk panna cotta. i can't think of anything good about it. it was bland and too firm. that's all i have to say about that.

i would probably not go back. my dad summed it up best by saying that the prices were comparable to gary danko, but the food wasn't, so we may as well eat at gary danko. fine by me.

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