So Quinn's . This place is getting a lot of exposure in some circles these days, and I think this is for good reason.
It was pretty good. We'll definitely go back. However, nothing we had was amazing. We started with 'duck & duck rillettes,' which was quite tasty but didn't live up to its name. I asked the server why it was called 'duck & duck rillettes' and apparently this is because it is duck rillette with chopped up duck in it. I couldn't find any chopped up duck at all, just rillettes. This wasn't necessarily negative, but I felt like the description wasn't all that accurate. It was served with a little frissee and some toasts and a smear of a sweet sauce, possible some sort of berry.
For an entree I had the 'smoked hanger steak, romesco, cabrales, fries.' The serving of steak was a little small compared to the big mound of fries, but it was quite well-prepared. I couldn't detect smoke as much as just grill flavoring. The fries were excellent, though completely unadorned. The cabrales cheese was served nicely melted on top of the sliced steak. The romesco sauce was a little bit bland but not a bad addition. I've never had it before, so it was interesting to taste. It's a nut-based sauce, I believe.
M. had the '8oz. "snake river farms" wagyu beef burger, cheddar, bacon, fries." We were both in the mood for something pretty hearty. The burger itself was quite good, though maybe a little more done than we both like, the cheese and bacon were both great, with tons of bacon included. I think the burger had 4 slices! However, that was all there was on the bun! No condiments of any sort! No onions, no lettuce, no tomato, nothing! There was a side of ketchup included, but that's it. I now wonder if one could have asked for that stuff. I think they were trying to highlight the meat, which I appreciate, but I also feel that the burger would have been improved by making it a little more traditional, especially given that it was closer to medium than medium rare. The bun itself was pretty good. It's a little bit lighter than Macrina's buns, but not too soft like the one at Cafe Campagne, which tends to just fall apart. I approved.
We finished the meal with an apple tart, which was basically apples, a cinnamon/sugar crumble topping, and a little bit of some kind of cheese. It was quite nice, the tart crust was excellent, the caramel-like sauce around the edges was tasty, but I felt like it could have used a little more oomph somehow. The cheese was a nice touch, but there wasn't much of it. I would have liked a dollop of whipped cream maybe, or a little ice cream or something to cut the sweetness of the tart filling.
All this with 2 cocktails each ended up being I think $78.00 + tip. Not bad, I thought. Everything was competently prepared, but I think all of the dishes felt a little bit incomplete somehow. The rillettes didn't live up to their name, the hanger steak was good but not very smoky and the romesco was only vaguely evident, the burger was good but needed toppings, the fries were good all around, but only Maika's entree came with ketchup. The apple tart was tasty but needed a foil to the sweetness.
I think part of the problem may have been that we tried what may have been just about the most pedestrian entrees on the menu. I wish I'd ordered something like the 'oxtails, potato gnocchi, crispy marrow.' I had considered it but the server talked me out of it because he didn't think it would be enough food for me. Frankly that would have been fine if it had been better-composed. The 'wild boar sloppy joe' is apparently very very good, as is the ham and gruyere sandwich. Some friends went there recently. L. had the ham and gruyere and J. had the fish and chips. I guess the fish and chips were not that great; one very large piece of breaded and fried fish with little or no seasoning. However, L. believes the ham and gruyere on potato bread to be the best grilled ham and cheese she's ever had in her life! I think I'll be ordering that next time I go!
Oh, but the cocktails actually were quite good.
So Quinn's has now been added to our list of places to eat at on the Hill. I very much look forward to going back. I really hope it comes into its own or that we find some better things on the menu. We're definitely going to try and I have a feeling they'll come through for us.
Oh, the space itself is great. Lots of bare (and treated too, I think) concrete, dark woods, and nice big open windows. There are a few interesting architectural elements in there that you can pick out, like the fact that the second floor is made of lots of vertical 2x4s bolted together, which I though was sort of cool. I honestly didn't recognize a single bit of the former interior. It used to be a very marginal Mexican restaurant, which I think has now taken the place of the other marginal Mexican restaurant up above Broadway Market.
The only really negative thing (none of the food stuff was negative, just not as positive as I'd hoped), was a very drunk woman at the bar making out with pretty much every man in reach. After the kitchen closed (at midnight) the chef came out and as soon as he noticed her he asked her to leave. I wish someone had done that earlier. It was embarrassing to watch. She could barely walk and had to be helped out of the building.
So there you have it.