A friend from out of town specifically asked to go to Cotogna, so we went last night. My overall impression was very good. The dishes were all good, and the gnocchi were the best I've ever had.
We started with the house made ricotta with wild mushroom crostini. The ricotta was to die for. My companion ended up wiping out every little last bit with his finger, because it was too good not to. How did they do it? Special high fat producing cows? Where has this ricotta been all my life? It was nicely complimented by the mushrooms and bread.
Then we had the rosemary gnocchi with braised duck. The best gnocchi ever. They were so pillowy, you wanted to take them home and sleep on them. The accompanying simple duck sauce was great with them. We like this dish so much, we considered ordering another round, but (barely) managed to contain ourselves.
Next up was the garganelli with rabbit, chanterelles & artichokes. This was a very nice pasta dish, with a nice sauce. In another meal, it might have been a stand out, because it really was quite good, but we were so smitten with the ricotta and the gnocchi, it was hard to get our attention.
However, the spit roasted pork with wild fennel & hot pepper managed to grab us. It was again a question of how did they do it? How did they manage to get all that fennel flavor to perfectly blend into the pork? Did they feed not only the pig itself, but its mother and several generations of pigs back solely on fennel? And how did they know that fennel and pork go perfectly together? There was not one thing wrong with this dish. I want to eat it again right now.
Some restaurants don't really seem to get dessert. It's just an afterthought for them. The bònet with caramel & amaretti crumble was OK, but why not just call it almond flan, and get on with your day? They were already out of the panna cotta by 8:30, and the gelato of the day was vanilla. So, Cotogna, some work could be done in this department.
Generally, really good, though! Two thumbs up!
490 Pacific Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133
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