Back in 2003, it took clever maneuvering—partitions, flattering lighting, butter-yellow walls, a Murano-glass chandelier—to make this diminutive former Victorian apothecary look so inviting. The dishes on Michael Tusk’s haute-rustic, market-driven menu, though, needed no sprucing—and they’re still sublime. Tusk, an alum of Chez Panisse and Oliveto, puts a northern-California spin on Mediterranean flavors: his house-made chickpea ravioli comes in a pepper-spiced squid sauce, and his Roman-style oxtail stew is subtly seasoned with cloves and cinnamon. Keep hitting the “redial” button to land a reservation.
Tip: Of Quince’s 15 tables, the most desirable is the rustic farmhouse table downstairs, in the middle of the kitchen. It seats groups of 8 to 10, and you have to commit to spending at least $1,000 (including wine)—but that’s a mere $125 a head.
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From Food & Wine , APR 2011
Taste is driven so much by smell, and a grape with the kind of beguiling aromatics that Pinot Noir has'—which range from a deep earthiness...MORE
From Food & Wine , MAY 2012
From Food & Wine , AUG 2004
Chez Panisse alumnus Michael Tusk perfected his pastas at Oakland's renowned Oliveto. At the tiny new restaurant he co-owns...MORE
From Food & Wine , NOV 2009
Michael’s French- and Italian-inspired California recipes—in particular his exquisite pastas, like tortelloni with...MORE
From the From the May 2008 Food & Wine Go List
In an old farmhouse on a 12-acre property dotted with pecan groves, Slow Food devotee Greg LaPrad has created a garden-to-table experience that highlights local foods. His comforting American dishes are accented with Italian touches; he makes his own pasta and charcuterie.
We loved: Poached egg in garlic broth with croutons and cheese; brick oven–roasted pork shoulder with fennel and gravy; apple-toffee cake with butternut squash ice cream.