Chef's Table at Quince: Great food, perfect pairings, introductions and confessions

Something magical happens when a group of people who love food gather at a restaurant that does also. Quince at the Homestead is just such a place, and a fortunate group of us dined on their world class cuisine at August’s Chef’s Table. It was an evening of excellent service, great food, well paired wines, and confessions prompted by all of the above.

Chef Andy Motto has honed his skill at some of the world’s best restaurants, and now his talent is showcased in this Evanston restaurant. I use the word “showcase” deliberately. Everything from the grand, white-columned entrance to the unobtrusive service, from the comfortable and warmly lit dining room to the well selected wine list, is designed to present the star of the show: the food.

We were seated in their private dining room. It’s situated within a corner of the main dining room and has windows facing the other tables so you don’t feel isolated and yet still have a sense of privacy. As each guest entered they were greeted with a glass of Canaletto Prosecco Brut. Once everyone had arrived we sat down to a glass of Taburno Falanghina paired with Heirloom Tomato Napoleon. This pastry was layered with heirloom tomatoes and goat cheese and was deceptively rich.

Heirloom Tomato Napoleon

Next we were served the stuffed squash blossom. The bud was filled with chicken, squash, saffron, and artichoke, served over fava beans and topped with a pistachio foam. On its own it was a surprisingly rich and delightful combination of flavors. Paired with Domaine La Croix Belle, a grenache-viognier blend, it became an even more complex, and somehow lighter, dish.

Stuffed squash blossom, with chicken, saffron, artichoke, fava bean, pistachio foam

Our main course was a beautiful lamb chop, prepared to the perfect temperature and placed atop a tomato confit and corn salad. It was paired with a silky Cotes du Rhone from Domaine de Piaugier in Sablet. 

Lamb Chop with tomato confit

Our final course was dessert: a sugar-dusted doughnut served with lemon verbena, stone fruit, and a pecan salad. It was sweet without being cloying and a perfect end to the meal.

Doughnut, lemon verbana, stone fruit, pecan salad

Well, the meal itself was finished, but by no means was our evening. Conversation had been lively throughout the dinner, but after dessert one of the guests suggested we introduce ourselves. By the time we got to the third person confessions were added to our names and what we do! Lively doesn’t begin to describe the rest of the experience. I have never laughed so hard at a Chef’s Table! Of course I can’t say what any of us opened up about, but I can tell you that, while some of us arrived as strangers, we all left as friends.

This kind of camaraderie was made possible because everything else was impeccable. Thank you to our server Randy, the General Manager Tina, and to Chef Motto and everyone in the kitchen for making this Chef’s Table a truly memorable experience. We will ALL be back!

Chef's Table at Quince at the Homestead







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