Pac Heights/Jackson Square: Lots of big news out of the Quince camp this morning. Owners Michael and Lindsay Tusk have made several big announcements, so let's hit them one at a time (full release after the jump).
1) Up first, in the here and now, the Tusks have hired local dessert star William Werner as the executive pastry chef.
2) With regards to the big move to the Myth space that everyone keeps wondering about, they've set the following dates: the Jackson Square location of Quince is currently slated to open May 1 and is being designed by Olle Lundberg (Slanted Door). The adjacent casual restaurant in the corner spot of the former Myth Cafe will open in April.
3) Speaking of the corner eatery, it will be called Cotogna (Italian for "quince"), and will be much more downscale than Quince: 40 seats, cocktail program, "earthy Italian flavors," wood fired oven (!), rotisserie, open for lunch, and open until midnight.
From the desk of Quince:
CHEF WILLIAM WERNER TAPPED TO HEAD UP PASTRY AT QUINCE AND NEW JACKSON SQUARE LOCATION
Owners Michael and Lindsay Tusk Also Announce Plans for New Café, Cotogna
San Francisco, CA (February 2, 2009)— Michael and Lindsay Tusk, owners of Quince restaurant, have hired well-known Bay Area pastry chef William Werner as Executive Pastry Chef for Quince and the much-anticipated new locations in Jackson Square, slated to open on May 1. In addition, the Tusks are pleased to introduce their new casual restaurant, Cotogna, meaning “quince” in Italian. Cotogna, scheduled to open in April, will be a more casual restaurant opening adjacent to their future Quince location at 490 Pacific Avenue (at the corner of Montgomery Street) in San Francisco.
Executive Pastry Chef William Werner
Werner, who has trained with Daniel Boulud in New York City, worked with the Ritz Carlton for more than 5 years and eventually became Executive Pastry Chef of Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay, where he not only oversaw the entire resort’s dessert program, but also further developed a passion for local ingredients and flavors. Most recently Werner managed his own creative consulting firm, polite/persuasion, where he specialized in catering private parties, marketing promotions and corporate events, which allowed him to teach, travel and develop new dessert concepts.
“William understands classic French pastry, but he also brings a distinct flare and creativity to Quince and eventually Cotogna,” says co-owner Michael Tusk. “Already his desserts at Quince not only complement the savory dishes, but his well balanced compositions enhance the overall fine dining experience. At Cotogna, William will be able to create less structured and more familiar, straightforward desserts.”
The backbone of Werner’s desserts at Quince relies on seasonality, focused flavors and textures—with his added philosophy that the “eyes eat first,” calling for interesting presentations.
“Not only am I thrilled to join Michael, whose commitment to the product and passion and knowledge are unparalleled, but I’m looking forward to making desserts that truly create an impression at the end of the meal,” Werner says.
Quince, regarded as one of San Francisco’s foremost fine dining restaurants, will debut Cotogna, a decidedly more casual and relaxed Italian restaurant in the Jackson Square neighborhood next door to the restaurant's new location. Cotogna will continue Tusk's dedication to sourcing only the highest-quality local, seasonal ingredients, in creating dishes that exude earthy, Italian flavors. The restaurant and the menu will be dominated by a wood fired oven and rotisserie featuring a different roast, daily. This will include spit-roasted whole fish, small game birds and meats, pizzas, house made pastas and seasonal vegetables.
Cotogna will also feature an innovative cocktail and spirits program. Custom-blended house red and white wines will be offered by the glass and carafe, as will an extensive 'by the glass' program presenting a range of prices and styles. With just 40 seats, Cotogna will offer a relaxed dining experience with continuous service throughout the day and night, serving lunch, dinner and a late-night menu.
Both new spaces for Quince and Cotogna, designed by renowned architect Olle Lundberg (Slanted Door, Moss Room), will reflect the restaurants’ distinct styles. Cotogna will be a combination of comfort and sophistication with a modernist palette of grey and black, juxtaposed against the rustic brick and exposed timbers of the existing 1902 Jackson Square building. The restaurant will be intimate and energetic, emphasizing the casual and relaxed nature of the menu.
Quince will be a more spacious and grander expression of their current Pacific Heights location creating an elegant, contemporary dining experience. Lundberg describes the design concept as "a palette of platinum and dark chocolate with clean lines and elegant details that enhance the precision and artistry of Michael's food."
Cotogna will be open through out the day, beginning at 11 am for lunch service, continuing into the afternoon with dinner service starting at 5:30 and closing at midnight. Cotogna will be located at 490 Pacific Avenue, at the corner of Montgomery Street.