After 12 years, Chris Cosentino and Mark Pastore's groundbreaking Incanto is calling it quits. As Inside Scoop reports, the nationally acclaimed restaurant is shutting down on March 24, after which it'll be transformed into a new concept, Porcellino, from Pastore. While Cosentino will be a partner in Porcellino and consult on its menu, he won't have the day-to-day operations role that he currently holds at Incanto, allowing him to focus on his new (and still detail-free) project in the former Zuppa space in SOMA, as well as that offal cookbook he has coming out, his fashion line with Betabrand, comics writing, and other projects.
Pastore and Cosentino told Inside Scoop that the shift was primarily sparked by the increasingly family-oriented focus of Noe Valley, in which an upscale restaurant has less of a role to play. It can't have helped that Incanto's once-sterling reputation was taking a drubbing from diners of late—it received far and away the most votes in our reader poll of overrated restaurants, and Bauer gave it a less-than-loving review last year. The new concept will offer approachable dishes like sandwiches, salads, and pastas, and drop the focus on offal (though plates of Cosentino's Boccalone salumi will be available).
The plan is for Porcellino to be open at both lunch and dinner, and to have a retail component that will include the salumi, as well as pasta and sauces to-go and wine (a wine shop has been a relative rarity in the area). It's also safe to say that Pastore and Cosentino won't give up on the values that made them among SF's most groundbreaking restaurateurs, including a focus on whole-animal butchery, water re-use, and better healthcare and wages for employees. Fans have three weeks to drop by the restaurant in its current incarnation; it'll get a small revamp and open in late April or early May.
· Incanto to close this month [Inside Scoop]
· Chris Cosentino Taking SOMA's Former Zuppa Space [~ ESF ~]
· Bauer Downgrades Incanto's Star Rating [~ ESF ~]