It’s been a Bay Area favourite for the last two decades, and now Quince has unveiled a new look to mark its 20th birthday.
James Beard award-winning chef Michael Tusk and his wife Lindsay Tusk opened Quince in 2003 in a small Victorian townhouse in Lower Pacific Heights. Six years later, they relocated the restaurant to its current home, a historic 1907 brick and timber building in Jackson Square.
To mark Quince’s seminal anniversary, the couple shuttered the San Francisco restaurant and enlisted designers Steven Volpe and Diego Delgado-Elias to oversee a nearly year-long makeover, bringing in a palette of earthy shades and rustic materials to its interiors – including earthenware planters and vintage terracotta tiles.
A serene and organic aesthetic runs throughout the three-Michelin-star restaurant, which has been divided into several distinct areas, each connected by boat cabin-style archways and porthole cut-outs that subtly nod to the curvilinear forms of Streamline Modernism and nautical living.
Quince’s main dining space is smaller and brighter than previously, accommodating just ten tables overlooking the ficus trees of Pacific Avenue. Wood features heavily alongside various shades of caramel, creating a warm, almost golden ambience.
The designers have also excluded almost all right angles from the room, preferring to use round edges and soft forms. A still-life drawing by Roger Caprone finishes things off.
Tusk’s team will offer two versions of Quince’s tasting menus: a four-course ($270) option that lets customers select dishes and add supplements and a more traditional eight-to-ten-course ($360) gastronomy experience. His menu emphasises fresh, seasonal Californian ingredients, including locally caught oysters and fish, mushrooms, and organic produce from Fresh Run Farm in Bolinas.
Bar patrons can order a drink and settle in the oak-lined barroom, filled with bookshelves, vintage furniture, and mismatched ceramics, adding a lived-in feel.