Last night, we returned to Quince for another birthday*. They certainly are the go-to place for special occasions. Given the number of candlelit desserts that make their way out of the kitchen, it's a wonder the staff can muster such enthusiasm each time. Kudos to the management. The service really is perfect.
Dinner was excellent, as always, especially the pici pasta with fiddlehead ferns and pancetta. I thought my salad (asparagus, cucumber, radish, and green almonds) could have used one rich element for contrast. Green almonds are light and fresh, with the soft texture of grapes. The ones in my salad had been lightly pickled, so they were crunchy, more like cucumber flesh. A light sprinkling of cheese or hard-cooked egg, or even roasted almonds, would've been nice.
The highlight of the night, though, was spotting Jacques Pepin at the table behind us. I don't know him, but I've met him at conferences and I'm always impressed with how warmly he welcomes strangers and fans. A true gentleman, and a Renaissance man. If you haven't read his memoir, The Apprentice, add it to your summer reading list.
*Happy Birthday, Marilyn!