iPad as plate

Celeriac, porcini, and ricotta croquettes are dusted with porcini powder, topped with white truffle shavings, and served on a video of a truffle hunter and his dog. The dish is “A dog in search of gold” from Quince’s current tasting menu.

Apparently they’ve been using these “plates” for a couple of years without drawing media attention.

A bit gimmicky, in my opinion. Almost like The Fat Duck’s “sound of the sea” dish, which is presented with an accompanying iPod so you can listen to a recording of ocean waves as you eat a seascape diorama (dehydrated crumbled scallops as the “sand”). Not really my style, but I can see why’d they do it. I hope VR doesn’t further complicate these kinds of menus. I can just imagine: a VR scene of the forest superimposed on your table, a la Pokemon Go, as you reach out to unearth what appears to be a truffle, you actually pick up a faux truffle of sunchoke and cep croquette rolled in dehydrated shiitake shavings with a liquid mushroom and truffle center that bursts in the mouth. A dish that would’ve been at SSAM maybe 3 years ago, but now thanks to technology and some extra cheekiness or creativity, if you will, adds yet another layer of trompe l’oeil.

Maybe these kinds of concepts are what In Situ in SF should’ve been: dining as a performance art of sorts. “Truffle Hunter: the Dog is Present.” Or, “Plate of Apple” with various forms and textures of apple - jellied, dehydrated as “fruit leather,” fresh, and frozen - strewn along the i-plate which shows a video of a hand picking apples…playing Beach House’s “Apple Orchard” and served a glass of calvados, naturally.

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A whole lot gimmicky, in my opinon. I hope this will be one of the high water marks of this Huysmans-esque nonsense before Michelin starts taking points off for pretentiousness.

I thought Quince as 3* was generous at first, but then again, I was last there maybe 2 years ago. Maybe they’ve improved recently, however. I know they have a great pastry chef now, Shawn Gawle, whose desserts were excellent at Saison (buckwheat souffle with buckwheat ice cream; canele de bourdeaux, etc.). I tried to go two months ago to see, but a service issue prevented me from dining there.

Quince’s dining room is rather stately. I’d expect this iPad truffle dish at some place like DiverXO in Madrid, but here (or pretty much anywhere) it seems a bit out of place.

I’m still a big fan of Cotogna, however, much more my style as compared to Quince (despite my interest in high-end dining).