Yesterday I met Annie P for lunch at her new favorite Jackson Square restaurant, Cotogna. I had mentioned it to her a few weeks ago, letting her know it was a great spot for her and her parents to dine at, and walking distance from their Telegraph Hill abode. She took my advice and has been five times since, including yesterday.
We opted to sit outside and dine al fresco because it was an unusually warm day in San Francisco. Thankfully Annie P brought some sunscreen, because it was HOT. I think I actually got a suntan just from sitting outside. To combat the weather we decided to sip on a pink Pinot Nero Spumante Brut. The sparkler was pretty dry, with hints rose and peach on the nose, and a soft acidity on the palate. While I’m sure there are plenty of food items that this wine would pair well with, we were drinking it purely for it’s coldness, color and consistency. There is nothing more appropriate that Rosato Spumante when dining al fresco, especially at one of San Francisco’s finest Italian restaurants.
That being said, the food at Cotogna is incredible. To start off the meal, we shared the purslane salad with cucumber, feta and tomatoes. Then we split the sausage and broccoli pizza (yum!), as well as the “Agnolotti dal plin” – which Annie P claims is the best agnolotti she has ever had (and she spent a semester studying in Italy). They were filled with a blend of veal, rabbit, pork, carrots and celery and cooked in butter and olive oil. So simple, yet so perfect. We finished off our meal with a trio of sorbet: peach, blueberry and melon. We decided the blueberry was our favorite.
If you can get into Cotogna for dinner, I highly recommend it. But the lunch is very reasonable and has a large selection of salads, appetizers, pizza, pasta and main dishes to choose from. They also have a very reasonable wine list, offering a huge selection of Italian wines each at $40 a bottle or $10 a glass. They also have a reserve list for those of you who are willing to splurge a little. It’s not a cheap meal either way, but it’s so worth it!