As mentioned in my most recent post on Coi Restaurant, the dining room will be expanding in early April, and the amazing lounge will transition from being casual, affordable offshoot to a formal, tasting menu only extension of the dining room. While I'm sad to see it go, I'm excited for the transformation and what surprises Daniel Patterson and his team have in store for us lucky diners. That said, I obviously had to sneak in one last time to give the lounge a proper farewell.
Because I've already gone into great detail describing how incredible recent experiences in the lounge have been, I'll refrain from writing another essay here. Instead, I simply wanted to convey my most recent visit through a few beautiful photos. Enjoy!...Continue Reading
Tags: 100 best of the bay, california cuisine, Coi, Daniel Patterson, financial district, fine dining, Michelin-rated restaurant
My love affair with Coi began roughly one year ago, when I stepped into the serene dining room and proceeded to have one of the best meals of my life. That 12 course tasting menu featured some of the most inspired cooking I had ever had the pleasure to devour. So inspiring, in fact, that I was compelled by an unstoppable force to ignore all fiscal responsibilities and go back for that tasting menu two more times within the span of three months. I quickly realized that maintaining such a regular schedule at one of the most notable, and expensive, restaurants in the Bay Area was sheer madness, and a cloud of sadness crept over me. Until I discovered one of San Francisco’s best-kept secrets: the Lounge at Coi...Continue Reading
Tags: 100 best of the bay, california cuisine, Daniel Patterson, financial district, fine dining, Michelin-rated restaurant
Cotogna. San Francisco’s new hot spot. Situated on a beautiful block in the financial district, right next door to a little place called Quince. Rustic Italian cuisine brought to you by one of this city’s most celebrated chefs, Michael Tusk.
Clearly, Cotogna has a lot going for it - and many people have noticed. This establishment has attracted a huge amount of attention from both important figures in the San Francisco restaurant industry, as well as local dining enthusiasts. In fact, on my first visit there was such a cloud of hype surrounding this restaurant that it was hard to even see the front door. Having dined at Quince several times, I had always left with the feeling that, while delicious, it never quite lived up to its widespread publicity. So, in all honesty I walked into Cotogna with a bit of an attitude, entering with my chin held high as if to say, “Okay hot shot. Impress me.”...Continue Reading
Tags: financial district, italian food, Michael Tusk, pasta
7) Buttermilk Panna Cotta w/ Cherry Blossom, Coi
Yes, Coi pops up on this list for the second time. Although I wanted to get a good mix of restaurants represented in my top 10, I just couldn’t avoid including this dish – it was just too damn incredible. The dish, which I was lucky enough to get on my first visit to this restaurant, will forever remain in my memory: buttermilk Panna Cotta accompanied by cherry blossoms and topped with budding shoots of wild fennel. First and foremost, the flavor was overwhelming - the buttermilk (a special culture acquired through their in-house butter-making process), infused with cured cherry blossoms, along with the hints of pickled and wild fennel was a perfect balance of delicate freshness and creamy richness. And, the aromatic qualities the cherry blossom twig, left on the plate purely to smell, transformed the flavor into something truly unique and created a dish that really represents Daniel Patterson as a chef. It was the culinary incarnation of early spring. To read more about the other dishes from that night, check out my full account of Coi.
Tags: 100 best of the bay, california cuisine, Coi, Daniel Patterson, financial district, Michelin-rated restaurant, Top 10 of 2010
1) Chilled Eggplant Purée, Coi
For a couple of months it seemed like the only thing I wanted to talk about was Daniel Patterson’s Chilled Eggplant Purée (made from puréed eggplant, fresh pole and shelling beans, preserved lemon, cilantro, and tomato water gelée). I was honestly bringing it up in conversations with people who had absolutely no interest in the subject and could only respond by smiling and nodding. But I didn’t care, I wanted the world to know how incredible cold eggplant could taste. And I didn’t just talk about it, I chased it down as much as possible knowing that eggplant and tomato would soon be out of season and I’d be left with a void in my soul. Even after eating it 3 times in only 3 weeks, I was still blown away and craving more. You can read a full description of the dish here, but for me, this dish exemplified sophistication through simplicity and balance.
Tags: Coi, Daniel Patterson, financial district, fine dining, Top 10 of 2010, vegetables
At the risk of insulting a fair number of restaurants, I'm gonna just come out and say it: if you're not looking to spend a small fortune on a meal (think tasting menu at Michael Mina), the dining options around Union Square suck. How many places can you name that go beyond the tourist-trap fare and serve thoughtful, well-executed cuisine without also coming with an intimidating price tag? If you can think of more than one or two, please contact me, as I need to know about such magical places. However, after eight years of shopping my way through the mean streets of Union Square, there's only one restaurant that I believe fits the bill - a little French bistro known as Cafe Claude...
Tags: financial district, french food, french restaurant, live music, outdoor seating, union square
Let’s face it, there are some restaurants that a diner can’t help but enter with high expectations. Many of these restaurants live up to said expectations; a select few exceed them. Then, once in a blue moon, you stumble upon a restaurant that doesn’t just go above and beyond, doesn’t just become another entry in the book of memorable meals, but redefines your concept of food. Coi is one of those restaurants...Continue Reading
Tags: 100 best of the bay, california cuisine, Coi, Daniel Patterson, financial district, fine dining, Michelin-rated restaurant, tasting menu
My never-ending quest to find an Italian restaurant comparable to Delfina finally led me to the entrance of Perbacco (read: a very nice gentleman finally offered to take me there) - one of Bauer's 100 best of the bay, and generally known to have a reputation for delicious, sophisticated Italian in the City. Equipped with 7x7's "Big Eat SF" list (not to mention an appetite big enough to eat the world), and having researched their signature dishes, I was ready to tackle Perbacco head-on.
Tags: 100 best of the bay, financial district, italian food, italian restaurant