Incanto’s Closing

Courtesy of Incanto.

Courtesy of Incanto.

The Mission could never claim Incanto, the Italian restaurant on Church Street, but plenty of us ate there. Now, it’s closing and SF Weekly, crediting SF Gate, points out why its closing is not just another shuttered restaurant.

Paolo Lucchesi wrote a thoughtful piece in the Chronicle about why Incanto mattered: Not only did it popularize the bits of animals that people weren’t eating as much, it was also one of the first to offer complimentary filtered water (flat and bubbly), have an all-Italian wine list, and offer medical benefits to employees. And its impact on the popularization of offal — the heads, tails, brains, glands, innards, and other piddly animal bits — can’t be overemphasized.

The piece points out that the owners are hardly going away.

Don’t worry, though, Costentino’s not decamping for New York or anything like that. As he and co-owner Mark Pastore explained in a very sweet blog post, they are simply changing their restaurant’s name and concept. The new Porcellino, coming late spring, will be a more casual, neighborhood-y affair. READ MORE.

Filed under: Mobile, Today's Mission

4 Comments

  1. John

    Yes, I’d already heard about this because it is one of my favorite hangouts. I love the fact that they take risks with their food.

    Still, an all-day, casual reincarnation is going to work for me. I’m looking forward.

  2. nutrisystem

    Fascinating – if a restaurant is pretentious enough, the rubes will pay big bucks to eat a pig’s prostate GLAND, and think they’re hip doing so.

    • John

      There’s actually a long European, epicurean tradition of eating offal.

      And I notice that some of the more authentic Mexican places in the Mission offer brains, tongue, liver and various other organs. While the Hunan school of Chinese cuisine has long advocated eating every part of an animal, such as chicken feet, fish lips and bone marrow.

      So in fact what is bourgeois is refusing to eat auxiliary parts of the carcass and insisting only on prime cuts.

      Turns out you are the food snob. Who’d have thought it?

      • Sage

        Many European cultures as well as the Vietnamese incorporate blood into their dishes. I wouldn’t say it is hip but it is historical.

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