Some pretty big news out of Noe Valley this week: Top Chef Master Chris Cosentino is shuttering his 12-year-old restaurant Incanto this month, and he and partner Mark Pastore will transform it into the more casual restaurant-and-retail concept Porcellino. As Pastore tells the Chron, the change is coming because of several factors, not the least of which are all the strollers clogging the sidewalks of the neighborhood. "It really is just a feeling that the city is changing, our lives are changing. [And] It's time for our business to reflect the change," Pastore says.
Porcellino (which means "piglet" in Italian) is going to be primarily a restaurant but one that's less ambitious and offal-driven as Incanto has always been. There will still be salumi plates and pastas, but the focus will be on family-friendly dining with sandwiches, salads, and simpler entrees. Cosentino will continue to help in menu development but he won't have as much day-to-day presence in the kitchen, as the Inside Scoop reports.
As for the retail component, Cosentino sees it as an offshoot of his Ferry Building-based Boccalone meats brand, but with the added elements of wine, pastas, olive oil, and takeout meals.
Cosentino is also at work on a top-secret SoMa project in the former Zuppa space, the details of which he still won't reveal. That may also have factored into this decision.
Incanto will end its run on March 24, and Porcellino may be open by late April, or shortly thereafter.