Cotogna Is Not Quince, Which Is Part of What Makes It Great

For this week's review, I wrote about Cotogna, Michael and Lindsay Tusk's casual offshoot of Quince. Like the best spinoffs, it's not Quince Lite but has its own MO ― a hearth for roasting meats, scaled-back dishes, and a fixed-price wine list.

As I was writing up the piece, I wondered a little over how much I enjoyed Cotogna's straight-up California-Italian food, seeing as how I'd just spent the last two weeks cheerleading the experimental, idiosyncratic spirit that has flourished in San Francisco this year. But I found myself thinking over and over again about Cotogna's spit-roast pork, tiny carrots caramelized in the oven with honey, pappardelle with lamb braised in the wood-fired oven.

More importantly, there was no disconnect between the slatted-wood ceilings, the chocolate-colored Heath plates, the Raetia Lagrein I ate with a bowl of rabbit garganelli ― the restaurant has figured out exactly what it's doing and does it right.

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