Unless you’re one of those people who merely eat to live, Cotogna is the kind of restaurant that takes hold of your inner glutton.
'Cotogna' is pronounced co-tone-ya and is Italian for 'quince'.
Cotogna's the casual sister restaurant to the adjoining Quince Restaurant, Chef Michael Tusk's celebrated fine dining establishment. In 2011, Chef Tusk was recognized by the James Beard Foundation with the award for "Best Chef - Pacific"
"Raviolo with farm egg - yum."
"Anything with the rooftop honey!"
"Best seat in the house is at the counter in front of the wood-burning oven. You get warmth from the fire and can watch the chefs carefully preparing and plating dishes."
Step inside, and your eyes immediately register the roaring fire while your nose picks up the aromas of the meats roasting on the rotisserie that owner-chef Michael Tusk ordered from Tuscany. Skim the menu full of words like tortelloni, fried pumpkin, porcinis, and sausage ragu, and your hands will unconsciously start rubbing together in greedy anticipation.
Eight years ago, Tusk opened the still-red-hot Quince, but Cotogna is more rustic and downright chummy. Every bottle on the wine list is just forty dollars, and — Madon'! — a three-course fixed-price menu runs twenty-four dollars. The pastas are all radiant, from the most delicate fagotelli with ricotta and flowering blossoms to the triangoli with corn and chives.
It doesn't matter if it's a pile of chicories with pomegranates and buratta, or chiccioli, a rough-textured house-made pate served with pickled vegetables and fried ravioli-shaped crackers — the kitchen never misses a step on the antipasti.