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Fodor's Northern California 2014
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Previously housed in a small space in Pacific Heights, this smart, wildly praised restaurant moved and expanded to a much bigger more elegant space in Jackson Square. Chef-owner Michael Tusk, who has cooked at the legendary Chez Panisse and Oliveto, oversees the kitchen, where he uses only the finest local ingredients to turn out his Italian-inspired cuisine. The four-course menu ($95) or chef's tasting menu ($140) changes regularly, featuring a delicious selection of their famed pastas and seasonal dishes, such as tortelloni with robiola and cardoons, quail with cabbage and sausage, suckling pig and sweetbreads, and bosc pear with Medjool date genoise. Don't pass up the cheese course ($16 supplement)—it's one of the city's finer selections. The 800-bottle-strong wine list is top-notch, but can get pricey (a $35 corkage fee means you won't save much by bringing your own bottle), and the seamless service is both refined and welcoming. The lounge is an optimal place to swing by for an excellent cocktail. (You can also slink next door to Quince's casual offshoot, Cotogna, for an affordable and rustic meal, at either lunch or dinner.)
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