Love, love, love the Lounge at Coi. Adjacent to the main dining room, where Chef Daniel Patterson’s intricate 11-course tasting menu unfolds, the Lounge serves up the exhilarating epicurean experience that is Coi, but with less formality and more flexibility.
Here, one can enjoy casual fare (the Lounge menu offers a heartier take on Coi’s modern California cuisine), opt for the full tasting menu or, in what seems to us pretty much like nirvana, mix and match the two.
We began with the Grilled Gruyere Sandwich (from the Lounge menu, natch). This wasn’t a precious interpretation of the classic dish, but a substantial, albeit superior, version, and ample enough to share.
The rest of our courses were evenly divided between the two menus. Also from the Lounge: a crisp and zippy Little Gems salad with parmesan and croutons, and a heavenly bowl of Udon noodles with a fragrant broth, mushroom dashi, and vegetables.
And from the Tasting Menu: the rich and delicious wild mushroom porridge with crisp root vegetable chips, and a colorful dish called “Pasture,” beets roasted in hay, fresh cheese, wild sprouts, and flowers.
Complementing our meal were several wines by the glass, including a Lioco Chardonnay and Copain Pinot.
Coi (pronounced “kwa”) is an archaic French word meaning tranquil, and perfectly captures the restaurant’s Zen-like aura. Awash in colors of sand and stone, with grass-cloth walls, organic fabrics, and handmade tables created from a single storm-felled black walnut tree (as per Coi’s website), the space absolutely oozes tranquility, an amazing feat considering its location on Broadway, within a pebble’s throw of North Beach’s many “gentlemen’s clubs.”
The food was incredible, the service meticulous, the atmosphere relaxing, and the experience fabulous (dare we say perfect?).
The Lounge at Coi serves dinner 6 – 10 p.m., Tuesday – Saturday.