Among the top destination restaurants in San Francisco, “Progress” is better than ever

When they opened the National Bird Conservation Plan in 2011, Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski were actually working to open their dream project “Progress” in a spacious space on Fillmore Street. But there is also a small space next door, so the State Bird entered it.
Due to many factors, including the narrow space in the kitchen in front, they came up with the idea of ​​providing California-style food such as dim sum. Waiters drag the room with carts and trays, allowing diners to choose what they want. This immediately caused a sensation, and the following year, State Bird won the James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant.
It took the couple more than three years to open the progress and it was worth the wait. In the space that used to be a theater, every element has been considered. The slatted wall was exposed when the old plaster was demolished and was exposed, almost like a purposeful art installation. The same curved design elements move throughout the restaurant, ceiling arches, table edges, handrails, and even lamps.
From the beginning, this kind of food was a compromise. But in the past three years, the menu has been constantly evolving. Initially, the diners were given 17 kinds of food on the menu, and they chose six kinds of food for the price of $65 per person. Last year, the menu included 14 types of food, and diners chose 4 at a price of $62. Listed before the menu is “something on the table”.
Today, the family style still exists, but there are more choices, and diners can order as many dishes as they like.
Diners can still use ballpoint pens to mark their choices on the menu. Now, there are a total of three shared main courses occupying the center of the menu, with two to six main courses per main course. They change every day, but recently include a pound of grilled live shrimp ($80), grapefruit seaweed butter and mashed potatoes. Roasted and roasted half rabbit ($52) with bacon, farro and persimmon; half roasted duck ($60) topped with spicy peanuts, Thai basil and smoked Chilean vinegar.
During this visit, I went in a different direction. I ordered dishes under the heading Western Additions (Hog Island oysters with grapefruit pickled seaweed); raw and salad; vegetables and grains; and seafood and meat. Although the influence is eclectic-Japanese salad ($18), palm, local seaweed and trout roe. Dumplings and pork kimchi skin ($16); and nettle and ricotta ravioli ($17) with black small mushrooms and cider saba, they pair well.
The best salad made in the kitchen is winter citrus ($15), sliced ​​and chunked caracalla, kumquats, oro blanco and oranges, plus colorful chicory leaves. The flavors of ricotta cheese salad and fresh Nuvo olive oil complete this dish.
The lightly smoked raw tuna takes the cru fish to a new level. The fish fillets are buried in crushed pine nuts, coins from thin paper slices of radish, sprigs of parsley and burnt jalapeno buttermilk seasoning.
In the seafood and meat section, there is a rustic beef short rib and mushroom stew ($28), and octopus (la octopus) ($31) with butter beans, blood orange and kale slices.
Krasinski, a skilled pastry chef, does not seem to be harmed because her dessert did not appear on the initial menu. There are floating islands ($10) with coconut sorbet and burnt cinnamon on top. Cocoa Custard ($12) and Earl Grey donuts, served with hibiscus lime ice cream. I find it difficult to abort State Bird peanut milk ($3 per bottle), which has a strong nutty flavor and a light musky syrup.
1525 Fillmore St. (near Geary), San Francisco; (415) 673-1294 or Dinner every night.
Michael Bauer has been following the food and wine events of the San Francisco Chronicle for more than 28 years. Before working for The Chronicle, he was a reporter and editor for the Kansas City Star and the Dallas Times.

Post time: Mar-30-2021
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