20-feet from white-table-clothed-Quince in the Financial District, Michael Tusk gets casual at Cotogna with fresh, seasonal antipasti, traditional Italian pasta, pizzas, and proteins straight from the brick oven, and simple sweets and sides. Take a seat in front of the wood-fired oven to watch the cooks prepare your meal, sit across from your date at one of the intimate tables, or share a communal table with the neighborhood folks. Get the pasta's (we’re looking at you, raviolo filled with a luscious runny egg) and any grilled lamb, pork, or fish dish. The accessible wine list (all $50 by-the-bottle and $12 by-the-glass) and reasonably priced menu makes this a perfect low-key yet impressive date spot.
Quince's Michael Tusk lets his hair down 20 feet away at Cotogna, and chances are you’ll go there more often, not only because of its affordability, but because it’s still an amazing meal with a little less pressure (Quince doesn’t have a dress code, but let’s be real—at the very least, your shirt should probably be ironed if not also paired with a tie). Cotogna is no second fiddle little sibling, though—sit at the counter in front of the pizza oven, the hottest seat in the city (not in terms of trendiness, but rather temperature). While the pizza is certainly worth a gander, the pastas (looking at you, Agnolotti Dal Plin), starters (constantly changing vegetable or herb sformato), and any grilled meat dish will blow you away.
How to book: Make reservations via SevenRooms or walk in and sit at the chef’s counter and bar.