Last night we went to Coi with friends for my partners 45 b-day. I can’t say enough good things about the meal. I thought the overall deliciousness of the food was much higher than I have experienced at other top end restaurants in SF like Aqua and Gary Danko. My overall impression was that it was like a more eclectic and much less heavy version of French Landry. It reminded me a bit of Manresa but the food was somewhat more consistent.
The setting was nice and the service was top notch. We shared a lot of the dishes where you had to choose. The bread rolls are baked here and were very good. Crusty on the outside, chewy inside with a satisfying smoky flavor.
We started with the famous grapefruit salad flavored with ginger, tarragon, black pepper. I thought it was fine, a nice start to the meal, but it didn’t wow me. Everyone else at the table loved it. Next was Kampachi sashimi with white soy, yuzu, and other seasonings. When you eat sashimi at non-Japanese restaurants, even top end restaurants, it often seems hastily prepared and is disappointing. A couple of recent experiences were like this. Not at Coi. The fish was impeccably fresh. The textures and the flavors were harmonious and delicious. It was a simple, fresh, well thought out and highly successful dish. Next was a roasted beet and sheep yoghurt salad. It was a highly creative dish. The sweetness of the beets were a perfect match to the creaminess of the yoghurt. Next was caramelized endive tart. The bitterness of the endive provided a great counterpoint to the flakiness of the buttery puff pastry underneath. Another winning dish. Wild nettle soup was next. It was perfect. Next was grilled abalone. The flavor of the abalone was smoky, charred and delicious, although it was slightly overly chewy, but that can often be the case with abalone. The yuba papardelle with mushroom dashi was much better than I could have imagined. Very warm and comforting. Next was wild mushroom raviolo. The flavors of the mushrooms really came through in a very satisfying way. I could have easily eaten an entire plate. My partner had the sautéed Sea Bream with pork belly underneath. I can only describe this dish as amazing and delicious. Next was the sous vide egg. It was great. Our friends had suckling pig. I tasted some and it was good, but I was too enthralled with the egg dish to pay much attention.
For dessert there were small spicy pear balls toped with chestnut mousse. The pear had a very comforting flavor that paired well with the mousse. Next was banana confit with sorbet on the side. Also very good and finally warm almond cookies and small dark chocolate truffles. Because it was a birthday, the extremely knowledgeable and friendly sommelier brought out glasses of Spanish Pedro Ximenez dessert wine with a drop of some kind of orange bitters. This was a revelation. We tasted the wine both with and without the bitters. The flavor of the bitters was very light but it enhanced and coaxed other flavors in the wine. It was a perfect end to a perfect meal. We left full and satisfied but not overly stuffed-the portions were perfectly sized.
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