The open kitchen and counter.
Work in progress: a view toward the bar.
~COTOGNA~, Michael and Lindsay Tusk’s casual offshoot to Quince, is in the home stretch and due to open this Monday November 8th. The former Myth Café space has been totally transformed into a spacious 62-seat modern trattoria, with a copper-topped counter overlooking the open kitchen (with room for six), and a separate copper-topped bar (seats eight) with a gleaming Synesso espresso machine on the back bar (they will be using ROAST coffee). The room’s smart design features tobacco leather bench seats, elm-topped tables, original brick walls, Jerusalem stone floors, a wood slat ceiling, and full-length windows onto the street.
Chef Michael Tusk (with chef de cuisine Ryan Childs from Chez Panisse) will be offering a seasonal menu of rustic Italian dishes, with the most expensive item clocking in at $25. The Italian rotisserie and grill—in a beautiful British racing green—will be busy spit-roasting hogs and game birds, and there will also be pizzas from the wood-burning oven, along with housemade pastas (like tagliatelle with chanterelles, bacon, and pane mollica), local fish and seafood (like petrale sole rotolo with Taggiasche olives and sorrel), salads, charcuterie, and cheeses. Tusk also mentioned in passing his desire to offer a bistecca night.
Wine director David Lynch has been working on a “prezzo fisso” list of about 50 Italian wines, all priced at $40. The idea is to take price out of the equation, and serve wines that over-deliver for the price. (But if you want to order a big boy from the Quince list, all of those wines will be available as well.) There will also be eight whites and reds by the glass, along with some Asti Spumante offered by the glass. Jason “Buffalo” LoGrasso is the bar manager, who will be mixing up both updated classics and Italian-inspired cocktails (I saw a puntarelle infusion in the fridge).
Cotogna is starting with dinner service Mon-Sat, and will launch lunch (Mon-Fri) on December 1st. And about the name: cotogna means “quince” in Italian. And speaking of Quince, the new chef de cuisine next door is Tim Caspare (from New York’s Eleven Madison Park).