San Francisco is a city filled with some serious foodies. As soon as a new hip restaurant opens up, it’s almost impossible to snatch a reservation there. Well, I just happened to score a dinner reservation at The Progress, the sister restaurant of State Bird Provisions which is literally located right next door (you can read my review here).
What’s actually interesting is that the husband and wife chefs/owners, Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski, had originally planned to open The Progress before State Bird Provisions. However, due to problems with the building permit process they ended up opening State Bird Provisions first. After years of anticipation, The Progress finally opened their doors a little over three months ago.
The restaurant itself is much larger, perhaps twice as big, than State Bird Provisions with clean and simple décor.
The menu is also different than the dim sum style service at State Bird Provisions. Their prix fixe menu ($65/person) is set up where your party can choose six dishes to share family style; any additional dishes after that are $10/person. Like State Bird Provisions, the food is eclectic and takes inspiration from all types of cuisines. Once your party decides what dishes to order, you simply check off the items on the menu.
The Progress most definitely serves creative food taking inspiration from international flavors. Highlights of the dinner were the lamb tartare, cauliflower salad with “pig fries”, Pecorino cheese “roti”, and the spiced squab. First, the spiced lamb tartare was a nice change from the typical beef tartare. The meat was extremely tender and flavored with numerous interesting condiments such as shaved chicken egg bottarga (usually bottarga is dried fish roe), pickled turmeric kohlrabi (a vegetable with a similar taste/texture between cabbage and broccoli stems), and bronze fennel fronds. Next, the shaved cauliflower salad was extremely tasty and quite refreshing. The salad was dressed with an acidic dressing which perfectly accompanied the unctuous “pig fries”, pieces of crunchy fried pig ears and fatty fried pork belly. Delicious. The Pecorino cheese “roti” was similar to Indian style naan bread topped with shaved black truffles and served with a sour buttermilk dressing which cut through the richness of the roti. Lastly, the spiced squab dish was outstanding. The supple meat was cooked to medium rare perfection served with a complex chili sauce and then used to make your own lettuce wrap. Yum!
If you love the style of food at State Bird Provisions, then without a doubt you’ll also enjoy The Progress. Overall, my rating for The Progress is a 8/10.