Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Review: Coi

We had been hearing a lot of positive buzz about Coi (pronounced, "qua"), and have a new-found interest in molecular gastronomy since visiting WD-50 in New York, so we decided to give it a whirl for an annual family dinner with my foodie sisters this past weekend.

Coi restaurant, San Francisco, CAHelmed by chef Daniel Patterson, Coi is located down the block from the nudie bars on Broadway and Montgomery. The design is modern with an eco-feel to it (exposed wood, natural tones), and once inside you're mentally transported away from the scene outside.

There is a lounge, which unbeknownst to us prior to booking, serves an a la carte menu. We ate in the main dining room where an 11-course tasting menu is served.

Stand-outs were the roasted cauliflower with smoked bone marrow foam which had an excellent balance of flavors, the slow cooked farm egg (a molecular cuisine standard), and the quince and huckleberry parfait, which the table agreed hands-down was the best dish of the night. My wife and I also enjoyed the kabocha squash soup, but all-in-all, the rest of the dishes seemed average for a restaurant of this supposed quality and price point.

One controversial item was the "wine" pairing, which not only included wines, but beers, wine-based cocktails, and sake. I thought this was quite inventive and a highlight of the evening, but some at the table we quite upset as they were expecting a wine pairing... we agreed that the restaurant should either label the offering as a "drink" pairing, or have the server make a particular note of it before ordering.

The Verdict:
Given the hype, a bit disappointing, but it is good. I'd recommending sticking your toe in the lounge water before diving into the 11-course pool.

Recommended Plates:
Quince and huckleberry parfait, Roasted cauliflower, Slow cooked farm egg

Recommended for:


Bar stats:
Lounge area with a couple non-eating tables, as well as seats along a wall. Wine, beer, other (sake, etc.), no hard alcohol.

Information, photos, and map for Coi on Center'd

Coi website

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