Daniel Patterson's precise, original, and elaborately composed and presented food occasionally annoys some diners who are just there to eat dinner. But this is a restaurant with a singular vision and you just need to go with the flow. Patterson isn't world famous for nothing.
Extremly Disappointing. We were so excited to finally try this place, but we were seriously let down by both the food and service. The wine took an unbelivable amount of time to arrive to the table and when it finally did, they still needed to chill it. Thankfully, we opted for the 4 course option vs the 11! The food was innovative, but lacked in taste. I was warned by others that it was not worth the money or time, but I thought Iwould give it a shot regarless. Bottom Line...I should have listened to them it was NOT worth the money.
Worst meal I have had in SF in years.
We were all extremely excited to try Coi based on the phenomenal reviews that it has received. From start to finish, we were underwhelmed by all 11 courses. For $115, every course should be memorable. There is no way that this restaurant should be put in the upper echelon with restaurants that are truly great in San Francisco. All of us at our table had the same reaction. Maybe it was an off night, but you can't have off nights at these prices. Other Bay area restaurants don't - Gary Danko doesn't, Chez Panisse doesn't, French Laundry doesn't. I have eaten at most of the great restaurants in SF and many around the world. This does not live up to others. Recent meals at Le Bernadin in NYC and Alan Wong's in Honolulu are examples of meals I have had that are truly what a great tasting menu should be - everything was perfect and memorable.
I will say that the service was crisp, efficient and friendly. The restaurant was beautifully decorated. But that just does not offset the very average, disappointing food. I don't make a point to post my opinions on these sites and I think this is the first time I have felt a need to share my experience here (unfortunately negatively).
Cutting-edge fusion takes center stage in an intimate restaurant near the North Beach fringe..
Destination diners walk into a walnut-accented lounge. A padded banquette snakes the length of one wall with fuzzy white pillows brightening up the space. Music drips throughout the entire restaurant--from jazzy trip-hop to John Lennon ballads. In the secluded dining area, nine white-clothed tables are surrounded by bamboo-like wallpaper and artwork depicting circular shapes. The simple decor turns the focus to the complex cuisine.
Eating Daniel Patterson's creations is a multisensory experience. Diners choose a four- or 10-course meal, which may begin with rubbing a drop of essential oils on the wrist--the same oils whipped into a meringue-like appetizer studded with grapefruit chunks. Each course is a mini event, the global cuisine ranging from hearty (three cuts of lamb) to arty: chilled English pea soup poured onto ricotta sorbet, or tender sea scallops decorated with radish and delicate avocado ribbons. Dessert is divine, including a warm chocolate tart surrounded by smoked yogurt.
Unforgettable Evening. I had an incredible experience at Coi. The beet amuse bouche was breathtaking and set the standard for the rest of the meal. Sommelier Paul Einbund offered us an innovative cocktail at the start of the evening that added a terrific touch. Service was attentive and friendly. I can't wait to go back again and am pleased to be able to recommend such a fantastic find to friends and business associates.
Wonderful experience at Coi. I had an incredible experience at Coi. I received VIP treatment from the time I arrived until the time I left. I chose the 10-course tasting menu and the food was very well paced with the staff extremely attentive yet not intrusive. My favorite dishes were the seared scallop (best I?ve ever had), the tender roasted squab (exquisitely infused with foie gras), and the soft cooked egg yolk (a unique dish that tasted great). I also enjoyed the caviar with bone marrow, squash soup and sea bream sashimi. I wasn?t a big fan of the first dish ? a grapefruit dish covered with foam - or the last - a chocolate pudding with spices ? both of which combined tastes that didn?t quite mesh. But overall, I had a delightful experience at the restaurant and highly recommend it. A wonderful atmosphere for a romantic or special evening!
$75 Corkage Fee!!!. This was by far one of the worst dining experiences in the City. I have ate at all the best and at Patterson's prior two restaurants. At Coi (which they quickly remind you is pronounced "quio") the portions were small given the $105.00 tasting menu, and most of the food inedible. We brought a magnum of wine and were shocked when we noticed a $75.00 corkage fee! When the manager was questioned, he responded that the $25.00 corkage applies only to the first bottle and that they charge $50.00 for the second bottle. Since our mangum exceeded amounted to two bottles of wine, they thought it appropriate to charge us a second corkage fee. He was unwavering. He justiifed the charge by claiming that if they did not, "people would bring a suitcase of wine to the retaurant" So what!! For a new restaurant, which promotes itself as unique cuisine, the attitude and policy was unacceptable. I suggest Patterson start looking for his fourth venture as this place will surely shut down in 9 months. I wouldn't go back to this place if they offered to comp me a 20 course meal.
If you want aromatherapy...go find a spa.. The restaurant is decorated very nicely and has a nice look. The service was also very good. Unfortunately that's where my compliments end. I had the tasting menu, at $105 for aprrox. 9 courses. I am not new to small portions on a multi course menu, but I can truly say that after the meal, I wanted to head to Tommaso's Pizza around the corner. The courses were way too small and through the first 5 or so there was more of the famous foam than anything else, which is like eating nothing. I know that Deniel Patterson's forte is infusions and aromas, but it is to the point of ridiclousness. One course has you dabbing some oil on your wrist like perfume and then taking a whiff before each bite...ah, come on! It wasn't until the 6th or 7th course that there was a warm dish. Leading up to that, the courses were so small that I kept hoping that when we got to the warm dishes (fish and then veal) they would be of more significant size to command the main part of the meal, but they were just more tiny course (and notice how I said warm, not hot). I feel that I have somewhat soffisticated tastes, but I could not appreciate what they are doing there. To end it all they added 18% gratutity to the check as if they already know that the customer doesn't like the food and may stiff them. The service was good enough to where I would have paid 20%, but when they added 18%, I was more apt to leave only 15%. To me that's an insult...this is not Europe, but even there they only add 10 or 12%. We ate in the lounge (there is no bar) and saw 2 couples come in, sit down, look at the menu and then leave without ordering anything. Wise choice on there part...I was envious. I will never go back, but the place won't last for too long anyway.
Throw the baby out with the bathwater....
We were excited to try Coi. We've loved the food at Elizabeth Daniel and enjoyed going out to Frisson so I looked forward to dining at Daniel Patterson's latest venue. While it's a good looking space, and the service was attentive, at $105/person for the tasting menu, the food would need to be off the charts to warrant that pricing. 10 courses later (plus two amuse courses) we have a couple of observations:
(1) Daniel Patterson loves scents. (He wrote a cookbook called Aroma.) I believe he's so enamored with different aromas that his dished are over-scented. A lavender/rhubarb frappe in a shot glass was overpoweringly lavendery. Tasmanian ocean trout with vanilla (flown in fresh from Tasmania daily) was exotic, but "overvanilled". The kumquat/fennel salad along with it was great however. The vebena foam (aka bubblebath) over the veal was just too much.
(2) I just didn't like several of the dishes. The chilled spiced ratattouille soup was left untouched. The pappardelle chanterelles with coconut milk and kiefer lime was overpoweringly salted. Daniel loves salt. It's used almost too liberally.
(3) Coi adds 18 percent in as a tip. Automatically. I wonder whether they don't trust us as diners or whether they don't trust their service level? I frankly was underwhelmed with the service. They were nice enough to bring a scoop of ice cream with a candle to celebrate the occasion, but then we noticed another $4 on the bill for the gesture. I guess at 30 seats you have to extract every last dollar.
My verdict? Go for a few of the dishes in the lounge area. Peek into the tiny dining room. And next time you want to spend $400 on dinner, go to Masa's or one of the true 4 star dining establishments in SF. This is trendy food, in a trendy venue but unfortunately priced at 4 star pricing. I won't be going back, but I have to admit, it was fun. Once.
Best new high-end dining in SF, hands down..
Ordered the tasting menu a few nights ago and it was one of the most memorable meals ever. The kitchen's obviously in sync. Stand out courses were the suckling pig, the soup and the cod.
Wine list is quite reasonably priced as well.
Fine dining without the attitude.. Coi is a treat. Daniel Patterson whips up delicious, original creations (try the crisp pigs feet -- I swear, they'll change your life) served in the mellow, secluded dining area. To top off the tastiness of the fare, the staff are all down-to-earth, approachable and very patient. We brought our (very well behaved) six-month-old daughter on a Wednesday night and didn't get any dirty looks, from staff or patrons. It's nice to know you can have a high-end dining experience without all the stuffiness.
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