At Quince and Cotogna, a newcomer has the last word
The crostata di mele, McDavid's take on tarte Tatin
If there was any lingering doubt about fall's arrival, Devin McDavid puts it to rest.
As the newly appointed pastry chef for Quince and Cotogna, McDavid, who was most recently pastry chef de partie at The French Laundry, picks up where chef Michael Tusk leaves off. McDavid has created a menu of simple, technically excellent and seasonally appropriate sweets.
The Trinidad native's debut menu includes a quince bread pudding made with house-baked brioche, surrounded by a pool of cardamom-infused crème anglaise ($8). Though essentially a butter-and-egg-rich bread soaked in an egg-and-cream-rich custard, the takeaway impression is nonetheless one of lightness.
The Medjool date génoise ($12) is a sophisticated take on carrot cake. A quenelle of crème fraîche sorbet stands in for cream cheese frosting, a smear of sweet parsnip cream for the carrot.
Crostata di mele, elsewhere known as tarte Tatin ($12), boasts crisp puff pastry and a crown of well-caramelized apple slices. The olive oil sherbet that accompanies is merely a distraction, but the emerald Sicilian pistachio coulis is an inspired companion.
One reason to book at Quince instead of Cotogna? The mignardise plate, a tower holding Concord grape pâtes de fruits; walnut financiers; salted caramel truffles; vanilla macarons; and a chewy square of pistachio, hazelnut and sour cherry torrone, is itself worth the price of admission.
Quince, 470 Pacific Ave., 415-775-8500 or quincerestaurant.com; Cotogna, 490 Pacific Ave., 415-775-8508 or cotognasf.com
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