On Sunday The Bauer Dice beat the odds, landing on four stars for Michael and Lindsay Tusk's Quince in Jackson Square. It now joins Bauer's rather small four star club, including Chez Panisse, Coi, Cyrus, The French Laundry, La Folie, Manresa, Meadowood, and the recently added Benu.
"Four-star restaurants don't just happen," he says. And he thinks the opening of chef Michael Tusk's newer more casual Cotogna was a turning point in Quince's evolution: "it allowed him to grow in a different direction at Quince. If you look at Quince's menu today, it bears little resemblance to what he offered when the location opened in 2009."
There are other reasons for the upgrade too. The new lounge up front makes the dining room "even more luxurious and indulgent," the private dining room is "one of the most special places in the city," service has improved to be "nearly flawless," and then, of course, there's the food.
Bauer has a "Chez Panisse moment" when he tries the green garlic sformato beside the lamb chop dish and although the desserts were "a gentle letdown" (Chocolate should never be smeared - think of what it looks like.), he finds Quince is still deserving of four stars across the board. Despite the potty reminder at dessert, he asks: "Can it get any better?"