When I searched for “vegetarian friendly dinner” in the financial district of San Francisco, one restaurant that caught my eye was Cotogna. Its colorful website was bursting with pictures of fresh vegetables, so I didn’t have to feel silly about calling them and ask if it was a good idea to take a vegan there. It just so happened that the night we were dining there was also a Sunday Supper night, which I was looking forward to.
I had the regular set for Sunday Supper while Will had a modified vegan set. I didn’t get to take too many pictures because I was both starving and trying to hold an active infant in my lap for the start of the meal. Luckily, the staff was nice enough to borrow another highchair from a nearby restaurant so that we could put Robin in it and eat like somewhat-civilized people. Robin seemed to enjoy the food as well.
One thing Cotogna is known for is their fresh pasta and it did not disappoint. My taglioni was the perfect amount of al dente — I expected no less. What really impressed me was that they had to use dried pasta for Will’s dish since most fresh pasta isn’t vegan and even their dried pasta dish with tomato sauce, which sounds boring, was really good. Will declared that he would be happy to return to the restaurant soon.
There was also a beet salad appetizer. While it was good, it didn’t blow me away. I’m just bored of beet salad.
In lieu of a meaty protein dish, Will got this hearty bowl of fresh corn and chanterelles. He really enjoyed this and was happy it wasn’t yet another salad. The only odd thing about this dish was the choice of purslane for garnish. It made the dish look pretty, but the lemony taste of the purslane didn’t really mesh well with the rest of the elements in the bowl. I had the same thought about the fennel fronds in my lamb dish.
Other than the odd taste of the fennel in the lamb, I enjoyed my meaty main. The lamb was not overcooked and the eggplant puree served with it added the necessary pop of flavor to an otherwise heavy bite.
Since I picked Cotogna because it was vegetarian friendly, close to our hotel, and had something special for Father’s Day, I have to say it was a hit. It could be the Aperol flip that I had to start with, but I also thought the wine selection by the glass was both interesting and reasonably priced.
The only downside to dining at Cotogna is that it’s going to be hard to decide between eating there or Barbacco next time I’m in SF and want that type of Californian-Italian food for dinner.
490 Pacific Avenue,
San Francisco, Ca 94133