Thursday, August 26, 2010

Quince (Summerlicious)

This is my third time going to Quince for Summerlicious / Winterlicious ever since the event started. I go back simply because it is a nice little restaurant in midtown with good food, good value - a nice "default" place when I can't think of any other restaurant to go to. Quince's 'Licious menu has always been $25 with a lot of selection for each course. I like how it is in midtown since I hardly venture downtown on weekends (I'm in downtown Monday to Friday for work already). Bad thing is that it's located at the Yonge & Eglinton area so is super hard to find parking. Oh well, give and take I guess. 

Anyway, because I was very pleased with the first two visits at Quince, I decided to go back this year again for Summerlicious. However, I was a bit disappointed with the food this time. From what I remember, Quince used to serve simple, delicious and non-complicated food with good portions. But this time, it got all fancy with their dishes, had smaller portions, and their food tasted average at best. I just feel that they are trying too hard to be a restaurant that they are not. I guess I am bias because I've been there before this "change" so I will naturally compare the "before" and "after". But yes, I AM comparing apples to apples because the previous times I've been were also during the 'Licious events. 

The restaurant is not big nor wide, but it is narrow and stretches pretty far back. The decor is nice too: the brown shades, brick walls, and the warm lighting gives the place a very cozy yet modern feeling. There is a large space near the middle which is sectioned off with glass. I have no idea what is downstairs (the washroom is somewhere else). 

The Summerlicious menu. 

My boyfriend got the beer, naturally, and I ordered myself a Strawberry Mojito, featured under the Cocktails section of the Summerlicious menu.

This strawberry mojito is probably one of the best mojito I've ever had. I could taste the alcohol but there was just enough strawberry and mint to balance it. My boyfriend took a sip and he liked it too.

The bread came first. 


House made daily terrine, condiments, toast - The terrine was mediocre; I felt like I was just eating a plain piece of very thick ham. It was also a bit on the cold side.

Chicken liver toast, pickled apple - I really liked this. The liver was so pungent and flavorful, the toast was nice and crunchy too. 


Grilled mackerel, espelette, asparagus, red pepper sauce, fingerlings, pickled shallots - I had this and I thought it was really average, nothing spectacular. There wasn't enough flavor for me to comment on. The red pepper sauce was like a mild version of sriracha.

Dukkah spiced lamb, sweet onion, Israeli couscous, harissa vinaigrette - We certainly didn't expect our lamb to look like this; it looked like a piece of filet mignon LOL.  As you know you will never find a piece of lamb in this shape or form, so when we cut into it it was confirmed that the meat was chopped up / minced and then molded into this shape. Can't say we were too thrilled about this lamb since cooking it this way made it not as juicy as compared to say a piece of lamb chop or lamb rack.  We were simply expecting something but got something else, so maybe again we are bias on this. The stuff on the side was tasty though.


Chocolate bread pudding, blueberry compote, anglaise - This is a bread pudding disguised as a lava cake. I semi-expected chocolate to ooze out even though I know it's bread pudding haha. This was okay. I wish they had presented the bread pudding bread pudding should be presented. Simple, like comfort food. It took away that aspect of simplicity by plating it all fancy like this.

Vanilla pana cotta, cherry “soup”, tuile - The pana cotta was pretty good, very smooth and light, and the soup was tangy and refreshing. 

I don't think I will go back to Quince. I really miss the simple food that they served before. The worse thing is, if I want something fancy, I honestly can't say Quince is at that level of sophistication yet right now either.

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