Cotogna (San Francisco, CA)

Cotogna
490 Pacific St
San Francisco, CA 94133
Dining date: 12/3/13

exterior

Cotogna opened just over three years ago, the next-door sibling to two Michelin-starred Quince. Cotogna’s food is a comfortable, rustic Italian style differing from Quince’s more modern, refined Italian. The commitment to quality and strong execution is shared at both places; they even share a kitchen.

interior

I’ve been once to Cotogna almost three years ago but figured it was time for a revisit. For lunch, the restaurant offers a reasonable three-course prix fixe menu for $24; my mom ordered that while my cousin and I opted for a la carte options.

focaccia on request

bread

chicories with persimmon and piave cheese

chicories with persimmon and piave cheese

The first course of the prix fixe menu was this generously sized salad. My mom enjoyed it.

agnolotti dal plin

agnolotti dal plin

My cousin had this agnolotti dish, stuffed with a creamy smoky pork filling and bathed in a brown butter sauce. Fairly rich and utterly savory.

gnocchi with fiesta farm rabbit & swiss chard

gnocchi with fiesta farm rabbit & swiss chard

These gnocchi were pillowy soft, bathed in a buttery and cheesy sauce. Tasty chunks of rabbit and slightly bitter swiss chard made for some delicious bites.

garganelli alla bolognese

garganelli alla bolognese

The second course of the set menu was this one, chewy finger-shaped pasta in a hearty, meaty ragu. Not the most memorable thing on the menu, but it was comforting and prepared well.

stuffed Wolfe Ranch quail

stuffed Wolfe Ranch quail

stuffed Wolfe Ranch quail

The squab was cooked beautifully, crispy on the outside with moist meat. The stuffing was both savory and slightly sweet (raisins) and soaked up much of the excess quail juice for some deeply flavorful bites.

butterscotch budino with muscovado custard & sea salt

butterscotch budino with moscovado custard & sea salt

Our lone dessert of the lunch was this budino as part of the prix fixe. A rich butterscotch budino was paired up with the muscovado custard and a welcome pinch of salt; it was good one, though a strong alcohol flavor could be off-putting to some.

This was another satisfying meal at Cotogna. The food is far from groundbreaking (that’s moreso in Quince’s wheelhouse), but its strength lies in its simplicity and strong execution. While I wouldn’t commit a dinner spot during a limited trip, it’s definitely a good spot for a lunch in the city.


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