490 Pacific Ave., Jackson Square
Not nearly as fancy as sister restaurant, Quince, Cotogna serves up Northern Italian fare using the highest quality ingredients from nearby markets. It’s the kind of stuff we’d happily eat on a nightly basis: fresh pastas, veggie plates, wood-fired pizza, and simple fish entrees. In the elegant, almost all-wood dining room, the vibe is lively but not loud as tables are generously spaced. If you can get a table, great, if not, dining at the bar while watching the chefs at work is pretty awesome, too. A better option yet is to snag the Chef's Table in front of the open kitchen (or reserve the entire place).
470 Pacific Ave., Jackson Square
Michael Tusk's Quince has fast become the standard for fine dining, so it's no surprise that his catering business, Tusk Events, is booming. They can handle events of any size, but it's good to remember that Quince's family-style tables can also be reserved for large parties—a nice option if you're looking to host a gathering with minimal-effort. The various tasting menus, aided by a miles-long wine list, make for a pretty perfect weekend date night or decadent catch-up session with pals.
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