Posted: Updated:

Come spring, there's no better place to be than Quiessence, a cottage-cum-restaurant tucked away on The Farm at South Mountain.

To get there, you drive past the Farm Kitchen and down a shady pecan tree-lined lane to the fence near the back of the property, where you park and get out to admire the farm's organic gardens, pungent herbs and riotous wildflowers.

It's all so lovely and completely charming you'll feel like you're visiting somebody's grandmother -- at least until you get past the white gate and into the restaurant itself, which boasts a small wine bar and a solarium-style dining room, which brings the glorious outdoors in.

Chef de Cuisine Greg LaPrad's garden-driven menu features organic produce (much of it from the garden a few steps away) and top-notch local products (including lamb from a local herdsman) prepared with a simplicity that belies its sophistication.

Be sure to try the elegantly presented house-made charcuterie as well as any of the house-made pastas (surely the best in town). LaPrad's American-style coq au vin, served with mashed potatoes, is quintessential comfort food, so look for it on the constantly changing menu.

Desserts are every bit as incredible as anything that's gone before -- pear sourcream cake, chocolate-toffee cake (pure nirvana), even vibrant grapefruit sorbet.

If you're a true-blue foodie, you're going to love Quiessence.

Dinner is served Tuesday-Saturday.

6106 S. 32nd St.