As Michelin three-star Quince prepares to reopen this summer and celebrate its 20th birthday, owners Lindsay and Michael Tusk have announced the opening of their new private event space and test kitchen upstairs from Vesuvio Cafe in North Beach.
We've known since March, when the SF Business Times broke the news, that the Tusks were taking over the well-lighted upper-level event space formerly known Cookhouse at 253 Columbus Avenue. The place was already outfitted with a professional kitchen and seating areas, and a couple months later it is now reborn as Offcina — which means "workshop" in Italian.
It opens tonight, but it isn't fully open to the public. During the daytime it will serve as Chef Michael Tusk's test kitchen for Quince and Cotogna, and at night it will host "regular gatherings" for the Tusks' membership club Quince & Co. Unfortunately for most of us, that membership club is "fully subscribed" and there's a waitlist now.
The 1,200-square-foot loft will also be available for event rentals for up to 20 at seated dinners, or 35 for standing affairs. (Inquiries can be made here.)
As the SF Business Times reports today, Officina will be managed by another husband-and-wife team at Quince, Julie and Matthias Cattelin, with the latter serving as wine director.
The renovation at Quince should be nearly done — in January it was announced as a six-month closure, but you never know with these things. The restaurant website still instructs people to subscribe to the newsletter to get updates on the renovation.
Cotogna, meanwhile, remains open next door, and we learned in February that the team is also working on another project, and gelateria and espresso cafe in the former Station SF space, one block east of Quince and Contogna on Pacific Avenue.
There's been no word on Verjus, the team's short-lived wine bar, which has not been open since the start of the pandemic. It, too, has been available for event rentals.
Top image: Photo by Meg Smith