Course 1: A twist on a Baked Alaska with a frozen lime marshmallow.
Pastry chef Matt Tinder has recently been doing supplemental desserts to the standard eleven-course tasting menu at Coi, and during the week he’s offering a stand-alone, six-course dessert tasting that can be ordered on its own for $45, or added on to Daniel Patterson’s regular menu as a supplement. And if that sounds like a lot, you should first know that Patterson’s food is as light and delicate as it gets, and a meal at Coi, while filling, doesn’t leave you feeling too stuffed for dessert. Likewise, Tinder’s dishes are all really airy creations, ephemeral in their scents and tastes, and they disappear in a few bites each. After these extra courses, you won’t feel like a glutton, but you will understand that dessert no longer means just cake and quenelles of sorbet.
Three of the desserts here are part of the regular menu, and on weekends, guests can also request the additional dessert courses for a $10 supplement to the $165 menu.
If you do find yourself at Coi and too tipsy after all the wine pairings on the full menu, we’d recommend trying at least one of the pairings among the dessert courses: a La Tour Vieille ‘Rimage’ from Banyuls, France, that is the perfect blue-fruit complement to the blueberry course.
Coi - 373 Broadway at Montgomery - 415-393-9000 - Open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday from 5:30 p.m.
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The frozen marshmallow in question, tart with lime, is cloaked, Baked Alaska-style, in a soft, whipped meringue that’s then seared on top with a piece of coal and dusted lightly with lime zest. Chef Daniel Patterson says, “This is one of my all time favorite things. It conjures up memories of camping, and smokey, fire-toasted marshmallows.”
The second course was easily our favorite: A deceptively simple, flavorfully and texturally complex combination of stewed blueberries, soy milk foam, ripped baguette, and finely grated cocoa praline. The pieces of baguette sit below the other ingredients, adding a pleasant chew and contrasting the flavors. And we can’t remember having a combination of blueberry and chocolate that worked so perfectly.
This dish from Tinder is a play on a grapefruit dish Patterson was famous for from Coi’s early days (mentioned in Modern Cuisine) in which Patterson asked diners to rub a bit of grapefruit essential oil on their wrists before consuming the dish. This course, which also has a small smear of essential oil on the left side of the plate and comes with the same instructions, is a combination of fresh grapefruit, airy meringue, black pepper, ginger, tarragon, and little Cognac candies that Tinder makes using hard sugar shells that burst on your tongue.
This dish, similar to one Tinder created while at Saison in 2011, again features a light foamy meringue over preserved-lemon gelée, and a chrysanthemum milk mousse studded with pieces of preserved lemon.
“Don’t ever say we don’t have a sense of humor here at Coi,” says Patterson about this dish. C of course stands for Coi as well as cake, and several of the other ingredients in this dish: cherries, carob, and coffee, in the form of a creamy mousse. The green stuff is a gel made from anise and hyssop that’s minced and adds a slight herbal note.
The desserts conclude with a small bit of popcorn-infused ice cream, paired with micro-basil.
We were then topped off with these delectable candied raspberries, barely tart and at the height of their ripeness with a crunchy sugar coating.