Each week, we present our most delicious bite.
This week, the duck liver mousse with warm, sweet almond biscuits at State Bird Provisions in San Francisco, California.
Anyone that has spent more than a few minutes working in a restaurant understands that when heads are turning, it can only mean one of two things: 1) The server has gone missing. Or, 2) Something has just been delivered to a table that has grabbed the attention of everyone in the dining room. At State Bird Provisions, the latter inevitably occurs each and every time that a server strolls past.
One of the most ingenious concepts to arrive in the “show us what you got” world of food and dining fanaticism, State Bird Provisions serves its lucky few guests via a dim sum carte brimming with small plates. Each time the cart arrives in the dining room, it does so with a new offering of tastes and textures. As well, there is a modest menu of a la carte offerings that remains on the table throughout dinner, simultaneously doubling as menu and guest check. The restaurant was just named Best New Restaurant in America by Bon Appetit magazine, and the intimate space is overflowing with chefs and restaurateurs from around the country. There is something very special happening here, and it is clear that a great deal of care and thoughtful attention have gone into the creation of this dining destination.
The Dish this week could honestly have been any of several that we enjoyed. There were many extraordinary tastes. Most extraordinary, however, might have been the realization that many of them were in the $5 range, and none that we enjoyed was above $9. With price and affordability in mind, this might be the best dining deal in town. Any town!
In his review, the San Francisco Chronicle restaurant critic Michael Bauer states of the dish, “One of the most compelling dishes is the duck liver mousse ($6), as light as whipped butter and served with warm, sweet almond biscuits similar to a financier cake. It plays off the classic Sauternes/foie gras pairing, but I like this even better.”
It behooves you to make a reservation here as soon as possible. Although the table next to us was seated with three different groups of people throughout our time in the restaurant, it is important to remember that this is a tiny spot and reservations are precious. You, however, will be very happy that you arrived.
Note: The restaurant is named for the state bird of California, which is always a signature offering of the menu. Any guesses?