Last week’s night out in San Francisco was magical. And, no, it wasn’t because we found parking within feet of our destination. It was because my husband took me out for an amazing meal at Quince Restaurant in San Francisco. For more than two hours we drank, dined, and relaxed in the comfort and care of a professional staff. Yes, every component of the meal was divine.
I didn’t bring my camera because it was a personal birthday celebration for me, but I can say that every plate placed before us was worthy of a photo. I also didn’t bring a pen or pad but do have a personalized birthday menu.
For a first course I had the Sea Scallop with Fresh Chickpea, Meyer Lemon and Taggiasche Olive and Greg had the Trenette (pasta) with Sweetbreads and English Pea.
For my second course I had the Alaskan Halibut with Crawfish, White and Green Asparagus with Riesling Sauce and Greg had the Five Dot Ranch Beef Ribeye with Oxtail-Potato Croquette, Spring Onion and Bone Marrow.
For dessert, I had a medley of gelato including pistachio, lemon thyme, saffron, and honey and Greg had caramelized Pink Lady apples with yogurt ice cream and sesame brittle.
Needless to say, every thing was presented beautifully, sauces were spot on, foams were used with restraint, and it was a meal to be savored. But the best part was the service. We chatted with our server who we later found out was the restaurant’s captain, Quang Tran, and complimented him on his and his staff’s professionalism. He seemed genuinely pleased to receive our comments and said that they take a lot of time perfecting the front-of-the-house experience. He expressed concern about recent comments on yelp regarding the staff’s aloofness and off-putting air and we assured him that we felt the absolute opposite. The best staff is one that operates without interrupting the dining experience.
We discussed how proper dining service has fallen to the point that the art is almost become obsolete and most diners today haven’t a clue what proper procedures are. Simple standards such as waiting until everyone has finished their meal before clearing plates is hard to find. But you can’t blame the staff. This lack of training comes from the management, and if the management or ownership is uninformed, well then, you’re going to get sub-par service that will be passed around town like a phony twenty dollar bill.
Thanks, Quince Restaurant (and Greg), for a delicious meal that was enhanced by a well-trained exceptional staff.