Moving from the cozy Russian Hill location to a newer, larger and historic spot in the Jackson Square neighborhood was a brilliant move, as Quince is fresher than ever. It is also more accessible, with a full dining room, lively 12-seat bar and separate lounge, all of which serve the full menu.

Chef/owner Michael Tusk’s devotion to the lush seasonal ingredients that shape his daily changing Italian-focused menu hasn’t changed, but the wine list is now much more extensive under lead sommelier Cameron Tyler. The atmosphere has been upgraded as well, with luxurious Venetian chandeliers contrasting with the rustic exposed brick walls.

Menus range from an a la carte to two different five-course options. Recent highlights have included delicate squash blossoms with fresh crab, zucchini and fava beans, and spaghetti with clams, melon and espresso — an unusual combination for sure, but intriguing and satisfying. The cheese selection is well edited and desserts included chocolate beignets with cardamom ice cream.
Our Inspector's Highlights
  • Located at 470 Pacific Ave. (at Montgomery Street) in Jackson Square, Quince is one of San Francisco’s most elegant restaurants. Set away from traffic on a quiet tree-lined street, the 1907 brick building allows for a clear view of the bustling kitchen next to the dining room.
  • The Four-Star restaurant is known for its contemporary Italian cuisine led by chef Michael Tusk, the 2011 James Beard award winner for Best Chef: Pacific.
  • Tusk’s handmade pastas have earned rave reviews, along with the extensive wine list that highlights several varieties from small Northern Italian vineyards.
  • In a city overflowing with fine dining options, Quince provides flawless service from start to finish. The staff seemed to anticipate your every need without being overly intrusive.
Things to Know
  • Quince is open for dinner Monday through Thursday from 5:30 to 9 p.m. and from 5 until 9:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. The restaurant is closed on Sundays.
  • Reservations, which are strongly recommended, can be made two months in advance by phone or online at Quince’s website. Your best bet for scoring a table is to reserve as early as possible; even a couple of weeks out, you may have to settle for an early-bird reservation at 5:30 p.m.
  • The menu changes nightly based on what’s fresh and in season, so it’s unlikely that you'll ever have the same meal twice.
The Chef
  • Michael Tusk, the chef at Quince in San Francisco, abides by a farm-to-table ethos in creating his contemporary Northern Italian cuisine. It’s not surprising, considering his past stint at localvore legend Chez Panisse, where Alice Waters pioneered the idea of eating fresh, in-season regional food.
  • At his own restaurant, Tusk works with ingredients from local farmers, ranchers, fishmongers and creameries—building on relationships that, in some cases, reach back 20 years.
  • What’s more, the chef does much of the food shopping himself, often traveling to nearby Marin County for meat, produce and eggs.
  • Tusk’s efforts were rewarded in 2011 with the James Beard award for Best Chef: Pacific.
Getting There
470 Pacific Avenue, San Francisco, California 94133
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