When Anthony Strong, former chef of Locanda, announced his delivery-only restaurant model, Young Fava, it was with interest that the delivery-hounds of SF waded into a menu of foie gras terrine, caviar with potato chips, and burrata dips. However, Strong decided to pull the plug on the operation after about six weeks, having immediately outgrown his own operational parameters. Now, he’s back in the game with Cibi Cotti, an Italian-ish pop-up that he’ll operate out of Local Mission Market’s space.
It’s both a preview and a menu development exercise for the chef, who is currently nailing down a lease for a permanent restaurant. Strong says he’ll be testing out recipes, pushing the boundaries of Italian food, and “opening up the pantry” a bit more on the menu of Cibi Cotti. “That means if we want to throw in some umeboshi plums in a dish, we’re going to,” said Strong. Dishes like guanciale-wrapped mochi with radicchio and aceto balsamico, and a “deluxe” burrata with negi onions, lemon oil, and grilled crostini neri (Strong makes the black bread with activated charcoal) are just a few examples of Strong’s direction.
The reason for his quick pivot out of the delivery-only model is partially due to Strong’s own desire for human interaction. “Handing over white boxes just wasn’t doing it for me,” Strong told Eater. “I love throwing dinner parties, so this is what that should be like.”
Cibi Cotti will be $75 per person for a set menu, served family-style. Guests can bring their own booze, though there will also be runners on hand in case anyone should require a trip to the corner store during dinner, or suggested bottle pairings from neighboring Local Cellar. Tickets are available via Tock for this weekend and next; those desirous of a non-traditional Italian excursion can sign up on the mailing list for first dibs when the next rounds of tickets are released. The pop-up is happening Friday through Sunday starting at 7 p.m.
In the meantime, stay tuned for upcoming announcements about Strong’s brick-and-mortar restaurant, which he says will have a strong delivery component, and a distinct style of service.