Chef Erik Anderson has officially taken over the role of executive chef at three-Michelin-starred Coi, with his first menu debuting tonight. Anderson is only the second chef to run the kitchen since chef/owner Daniel Patterson stepped down to focus on his expanding restaurant group, following the departure of chef Matthew Kirkley who is now training for the elite culinary competition Bocuse d’Or.
Anderson most recently lived in Minneapolis, where he and partner Jamie Malone recently revamped the 70-year-old Grand Café. Before that, Anderson was one of the opening chefs at The Catbird Seat in Nashville, a 21-seat fine-dining restaurant that shot to to the top of national “best restaurant” lists when it opened in 2011.
Now he’s on the West Coast, bringing with him a penchant for classic French cuisine and a love of game birds. After immersing himself for six weeks of R&D in the California kitchen of Coi, his menu reflects both the bounty of the farmers market and his own personal style. It’s also the result of weeks of observing Coi’s signature dishes as prepared by Patterson, who returned to the kitchen during the transition.
“This is a great starting point for me,” Anderson told Eater SF. “The food has a little more weight to it than what is traditionally served at Coi, but I’m trying to lighten it up. Moving out here was a real lesson in what can you take away, how can you lighten things a little bit.”
That includes the geoduck dish, which Anderson says was inspired by Patterson’s version that paired the protein with a salsify and parsley puree. For his iteration, Anderson added a dark duck cream with soy, thinly shaved geoduck that’s been marinated in white shoyu, a jelly made from clams, and topped it with olive oil and negi onions.
Next up, Dungeness crab is pressed like a terrine, and served with a citrus leaf glaze and crab mayonnaise over lemongrass panna cotta, black sesame puree, lily bulb, and Shinko pear. “The pears out here blew my mind,” said Anderson.
It’s not all seafood, though. A tourte “l’Ambrosie” is an homage to the eponymous three-Michelin-starred restaurant in France, featuring duck, sweetbreads, foie gras, Armagnac prune, and black truffle, something Anderson says is also nostalgic, a reference to his father, a classically trained French chef. Along those lines, Anderson says he plans to bring pressed pigeon to the menu, served tableside in a vintage duck press he had refurbished, and which is displayed in the dining room.
Outside of the menu, things are Coi are much the same, from the dining room to the exterior. Chef Riley Redfern continues to lead the pastry department, and chef Daniel Ryan is now chef de cuisine. However, Anderson has added his own mark to the servingware with matte white plates and bowls from ceramicist Lillith Rockett.
“I feel good in the room already,” said Anderson. “[Daniel] is not afraid to take this restaurant in different places, and I think that’s neat.”
Check out the full $250 tasting menu below:
Coi is open Tuesday through Saturday from 5:30 to 9 p.m. by reservation.