September 25, 2015
By: Elliot Shirwo
The path of happiness is simple. Be aware, stay connected, and feel and act upon your passion. There are few restaurants that I’ve come across that have accomplished this augmented level of existence in the form of food, wine and service. In my integration of self-discovery and my love for all sensorial elements of nature, I realized that a restaurant is another form of family. In its structure, it holds a nucleus of stakeholders—parents, children, in-laws, distant relatives, favored friends and those who just tag along for the ride.
Families who have figured out the magic of connection soar to a place of peaceful war, unconditional love, and managed harmony. In the case of Cotogna, the parents are Chef Michael Tusk and his wife, Lindsay Tusk, who run the restaurant with taciturn, and unflinching directive for seamlessness. In their original, charming location in Pacific Heights, Chef Tusk set a precedent at Quince for honoring each season in his Northern Italian influenced cuisine. As matter of reference, the motivation of dining at Quince was seeing on its online menu an unforgettable dish that I had at Osteria Murrevecchia in Bra located in the Piemonte region of Italy. This dish was a gnocchi made with the Rolls Royce of cheeses in Piemonte, Castelmagno. The same airiness of the gnocchi and supreme, nutty creaminess of the cheese brought these two places in the world inextricably together for me on my first visit to Quince. On my first evening dining at Quince, Chef Tusk prepared a tasting menu of early harvest fava beans. I still nostalgically reflect upon the purity, simplicity, and deliciousness of that meal and all the people at Quince that made my experience feel much like I was dining at home.