Posts tagged bread

I know I’m a little late to this party, but I finally made it!

State Bird Provisions has been getting write-ups left and right, from Michael Bauer, to SF Weekly, to fellow blogger Foodhoe. It only took a few friends raving about it (thanks Kev and Chris), to get me to make some reservations– I’m typically a casual diner and only make reservations when family or friends are in town. This was an exception.

State Bird Provisions San Francisco Menu and Meal

Top: Menu and table setting, Bottom (from left to right): Duck Neck Dumplings, Glazed Pork Ribs, Green Garlic Bread w/ Burrata

State Bird is located in the Fillmore District, just south of Japantown. Situated in a tiny unassuming building marked ‘Provisions’, State Bird is not much of an eye catcher, but don’t be fooled– the energy inside is vibrant and cool. I was only able to make a 10:30 reservation (yes, 10:30!), which was great since the place wasn’t packed, but it would have been nice to dine with the buzz of other conversations.

The food is daring and playful, served dim sum style as waiters push carts from table to table, explaining each offering. Each dish is reasonably priced, but once we started tasting plate after plate, we realized we were racking up one heck of a bill. Don’t get me wrong though– everything is worth it. WORTH it.

From the Duck Neck Dumplings to the Rock Shrimp Salsa Tortilla Salad (not pictured), each dish was perfectly prepared and ridiculously yummy. Alex’s favorite was definitely the Green Garlic Bread, which was a crisp fry bread topped with burrata and whole peppercorns for a silky, doughy, and surprisingly bright flavor. My favorite dish, was the awe-inspiring State Bird w/ Provisions (below).

State Bird Provisions San Francisco Quail

State Bird with Provisions

The restaurant is appropriately named State Bird Provisions after this single crowd favorite. It’s a deep fried quail sitting atop a stew of sinfully tart onions. The bird was crisp and juicy, with a mouthwatering onion side that stood firm against the salt and meatiness of the bird. I might have muttered the phrase “best fried bird I’ve ever eaten” a few times, and it still rings true. I’m not a particular quail fanatic (more of a fried chicken fanatic), but the State Bird was perfectly balanced in flavor, texture, and size. It was the perfect main entree to our meal of small plates.

We finished off the dinner with a delicate (and tiny) chocolate black sesame crunch bar that was out of this world. Thanks to State Bird, I’ve definitely broken my habit of not making reservations– especially when they’re worth it. And for those of you who are reading all of the hype about this place, I say this: Read it all and work yourself up over it. There is still no way this place could disappoint.

Who would have known such a tasty little gem was tucked away in Upper Lake, CA?

On our weekend getaway to Clear Lake, we were recommended to a few local restaurants by the owners of the B&B where we were staying. We happily took their suggestions but did not have high expectations with our spoiled city tastebuds. I guess I have to say that we were wrong in that assumption but ended up being unexpectedly pleased.

Blue Wing Saloon is a quaint restaurant recreated in the likeness of the town’s original saloon which was built in the 1880′s. With the rich wooden panel interior and the vintage lighting, it really seemed to be something out of an old country western. This strip of downtown Main Street is also fashioned to its 19th century roots with a sidewalk of wooden slats and somewhat colonial architecture.

Blue Wing Saloon Menu

Blue Wing Saloon Menu

We were warmly welcomed (don’t you love small towns?) and were seated by the window with a generous bread basket. Oh, the bread basket. Both famished and exhausted, we went through TWO full baskets before our meals came (Although I’m certain that hungry or not, we would have eaten our way through the exact same amount). Their bread was dense, doughy, and brushed liberally with fresh garlic butter. The crust was soft and chewy like the texture of fresh bagels and quickly perked us up for our entrées.

Blue Wing Saloon Pasta

Wild Mushroom Ravioli w/ Herb Cream, 2005 Local Cabernet Sauvignon

I ordered their Wild Mushroom Ravioli with Herb Cream and Pine Nuts. It was delicate, sweet, and earthy. I was particularly impressed with the texture of the pasta: firm but gummy with a touch of salt. Alex ordered a “Tallman Burger” which he said was both tasty and satisfying. We also shared a glass of their local 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon and were so happy with the selection, we bought a bottle to take home.

Lake County is definitely out-shined by Napa in terms of popularity, but not outdone in terms of taste. Both the delicious meal and fantastic wine made Blue Wing Saloon a must-visit-again restaurant. Actually, the whole trip to Clear Lake was a must-visit-again experience. A charming B&B, a delectable dining destination, and excellent wine–what’s not to love?

This area will probably never become the suburban getaway that Napa has, but if you’re willing to go a little further, the country charm is quite enchanting.