Best High-End Steal – 2010: The Lounge at Coi Restaurant
Sainted chefs like Daniel Patterson of Coi love putting customers through the paces of a four-hour meal with senses-challenging courses stretching into the double digits. Some occasions call for such an intense, wallet-busting gastronomic showdown; other occasions, like preconcert dinners and happy hour, necessitate a speedier, less expensive experience. Hence the appeal of the restaurant bar. Coi’s lounge is relatively walk-in-friendly, at least early on weekday evenings. Diners can snipe selections from the main tasting menu — perhaps young carrots roasted in hay, or wild-mushroom porridge with garlic confit and wood sorrel — as well as pick from the lounge’s shorter list of heartier offerings, such as a Prather Ranch sirloin or even just a fancy grilled cheese sandwich.