Dining: Quincy's offers bar and grille dining at its finest
Finally, a bar and grill with some chef "cred" in the kitchen! Sure, Quincy's offers big juicy wings fried to perfection, then tossed with full throttle seasoning. The crab dip, rich with chunks of crab in cheesy goodness, is served bubbling hot with toasty rosemary flavored flatbread.
But it takes more than wings and crab dip to elevate a bar and grill into a restaurant destination, and Quincy's kitchen delivers the goods. Its Ravioli Bolognese and Potato Encrusted New England Cod approach fine dining status.
Quincy's made its debut in December in the space Ernie's Restaurant and Pub occupied for the preceding 20 years.
Typically, a new bar and grill opens with the promise of first-rate food to go with its libations and ambience. All too often, the emphasis on the food fades to reheated prepackaged food within the first few months. Not so at Quincy's. Chef Gary Vincent, a graduate of the professional program at Montgomery County's L'Academie de Cuisine, has designed a menu that ranges from chili fries to roasted pork tenderloin stuffed with herbs and cheese; from signature deli sandwiches to house-made macaroni and cheese with five cheeses and applewood-smoked bacon. The six-page menu has something for everyone.
The wings rock, and they come in five flavors: Classic Buffalo, Cajun, Barbeque, Quincy's Signature and the Chesapeake Wings with the pepper and spice of Old Bay. Quincy's Corned Beef Special comes piled high with thinly sliced fresh corned beef, served with creamy dressing and your choice of cheese and bread.
Quincy's rendition of an Italian sub, The Vinny Bagadonuts, is made with quality cold cuts and cheeses, tomatoes, herbs, oil and vinegar. It should be ordered warm so the cheese just begins to melt. Patrons close by raved about the Taco Pizza, garnished with ground beef, Monterey Jack, cheddar, salsa, black olives, lettuce, tomatoes and onion.
Entrees are served with a house salad and ciabata bread. The Potato Encrusted New England Cod is a succulent piece of fresh fish baked with the right coating of crunch and spice, served with flavorful rice and perfectly cooked and seasoned broccoli. The same dish served in a fine dining restaurant would satisfy at twice the price. The "Q's" Proprietary Ribs, available in half or full rack, are dry-rubbed and slow cooked to fall-off-the-bone tenderness, then drizzled with a potent sweet, sour and spicy barbecue sauce.
It was the chef's night off when we were there, and it's a significant tribute to the chef and the kitchen staff that the food was prepared and presented competently, rapidly and hot.
The bar half of the establishment has sustained a regular following from its days as Ernie's, in part thanks to the continuous service of the infinitely affable bartender. Polished upgrades include multiple plasma screen TVs silently streaming news and sports programming. Rock music plays at a polite level of volume, conducive to good conversation. Live music is active on weekend nights. The bar room is a clean, comfortable space, even including purse hooks, apparently a critical amenity to those in the know.
Quincy's low-key dining room is equally suitable for casual dates, girl's nights out or young families with grandma in tow. The kid's menu is designed for youngsters who like all things crunchy, fried and/or cheesy. Smokers occasionally congregate at bar tables outside, well away from the main entrance so that smoke does not waft back into the restaurant.
Be aware that there is an 18 percent gratuity added to parties of six or more people, and there are modest fees for splitting entrees, which our server waived.
While the saloon is by itself a terrific destination, it is the food served at the bar as well as in the dining room that makes Quincy's an exceptional new addition to the county's community of casual dining restaurants. Great food does not always mean fine dining.
Quincy's Bar & Grille
616 Quince Orchard Road, Gaithersburg
Hours: 11 a.m. midnight
Appetizers: $6.99 - $9.99
Entrees: $7.99 - $20.99
Credit cards: All major cards
Brian Patterson is a chef/instructor at L'Academie de Cuisine. Quincy's Chef Gary Vincent graduated from the program prior to Patterson's tenure there.