Chef Daniel Patterson chose wisely when he handed control of his flagship restaurant over to Matthew Kirkley, a fine-dining chef with a focus on seafood and an eye for intricate techniques. Since Kirkley implemented his menu in January of 2016, the restaurant has been receiving accolades, including three and a half stars from critic Michael Bauer at the SF Chronicle.
Now, Kirkley has earned a third star for the minimalist and unassuming restaurant on a strip club-studded stretch of Broadway, where beige star trek-ish uniforms have been the front of the house norm for years. Now, things have taken a fresh turn, as Kirkley’s style is cemented after two years of putting down roots. The departure of pastry chef Nick Muncy also brought new blood to the kitchen, as Riley Redfern joined from Jardiniere.
Kirkley spent time staging in Europe at the Fat Duck, Le Gavroche, and Le Meurice, followed by a stint at Las Vegas’ Restaurant Joël Robuchon, influences that are prominently demonstrated in his cooking.
The restaurant’s $250 tasting menu is a decidedly richer affair than Patterson’s restrained sensibility, pairing sea urchin with a fennel mousseline, octopus with foie gras, and skate with sweetbreads. More than anything, Kirkley has set himself apart with his precise, creative techniques: the turbot with scales of root vegetables, and a classic beurre cancalaise.
Coi earned its first star in the 2008 Michelin guide, and received its second star the next year under Patterson, who still owns the restaurant but decided to step out of the kitchen, in part to concentrate on other projects like Locol, and the expansion of Alta.
Coi is open for dinner Thursday through Monday from 5:30 p.m.