Lately, life has been anything but calm. In fact, I’m going to go out on a limb and say it’s been completely frantic. So, when my husband decided to whisk me away to San Francisco for the night as a birthday surprise, it took me a couple of minutes to work up what should have been immediate excitement for being spoiled rotten in one of my favorite cities.
As if the trip alone wasn’t enough, the real celebration he decided, was going to be my birthday dinner at Daniel Patterson’s sanctuary known as Coi (pronounced Kwa). Now this is not your typical weekend dining affair. This 11 course journey of molecular gastronomy should be reserved when you crave something truly special. Though Mr. Patterson takes ingredients very seriously (one whole side of the menu is dedicated to his local farm sources and the products he uses from each), he uses modern cooking methods that make each bite feel and taste like its own separate masterpiece.
Coi is an old French word meaning “tranquil.” The flavors we had that night harmonized with that theme. Summer, Frozen in Time as a first course (plum, frozen meringue, yogurt) threw us head first into this tongue tingling adventure. While the Monterey Bay Abalone Grilled on the Plancha was a definite standout for us both, I still have dreams about the Inverted Cherry Tomato Tart. Other flavors included soups, melons & cucumber, lamb, egg and caviar and even a cheese course. The ending was doubly sweet with a first dessert of blackberries, peach, saffron cake and wild fennel (to die for) and the finale being milk chocolate and salted caramel (need I say more?). One thing is for sure…you will not leave unimpressed, thinking you can try this at home.
And since life is made up of mere moments, experiences we create for ourselves, it is important to branch out and indulge in another one’s passion, as excitement is contagious. Few chefs do it like Daniel Patterson. Here at Coi, you get the sense that the artist at work, through each meticulous presentation, wants you to cherish this place, this tranquility, this occasion. At $125.00 per person, it is unlikely that I will get to return anytime soon. As life starts back at its routinely insane rate, I will look back fondly, pause for a moment of Zen, and think how we’ll always have Coi.
TIP: We opted to skip the $95 wine pairing (10 tastings equivalent to 2 glasses) and got to know the resident sommelier. It proved a much less expensive option and our wine was tailor picked to our liking. It’s important to note that the 11 course menu is the only option in the dining room. Their lounge is a casual alternative, where you can order from the lighter lounge menu or the dining room menu a la carte.
Coi. 373 Broadway. San Francisco, CA. 415-393-9000