Ms. Miller of the SFBG files a glowing review of State Bird Provisions, the new restaurant on Fillmore from Rubicon vets Nicole Krasinski and Stuart Brioza: "They adhere to the now-typical seasonal approach, yet are guided by a stronger creative prerogative than most...The joy of State Bird is that it's unlike anywhere else." Specifically, the fried quail is "habit-forming," duck liver mousse "ridiculously good," the peanut milk shots "imperative," and the vegetarian dishes are "just as captivating." [SFBG]
Josh Sens of San Francisco magazine slaps 2.5 stars on SoMa's new AQ: “...you’ll applaud the restaurant’s bold ambitions. Not everything sings; a boudin noir in chestnut sauce has a cloying taste and a mushy texture. But AQ is young, trying to find its footing in a crowded landscape. It’s promising enough that you’ll want to make your way back as winter fades to see and taste whatever’s new in spring." [San Fran Mag]
Kauffman tells the inspiring story of Sous Beurre Kitchen, which used a Kickstarter fund to get up and running inside Sugarlump Cafe in the Mission. The pluck "pop-up" comes out ahead: "Sous Beurre Kitchen is better suited for a quick dinner or a few small plates than a big night out with four friends and a couple of bottles of wine. But I'm hard-pressed to think of another San Francisco café with such assured food. A glass of Tempranillo and a plate of gnocchi make the thought of reading through a stack of photocopies seem bearable. The next time one lands on my desk, my destination is assured." [SF Weekly]
Berkeley's new Origen gets the two-star treatment from the Chron, who likes the restaurant more in concept than execution. Chef Daniel Clayton "often seems reluctant to allow ingredients to speak for themselves...but the most memorable dishes here are the least manipulated." The decor is nice, and the server they keep getting has "impressive knowledge of the menu." Even though most entrees "were cramped in presentation and lacked any playful interplay with the produce...there are reasons to give Origen time to find its groove." [Chron]
THE ELSEWHERE: The second Chron review has 2 stars for Sweet T's in the former Santi in Santa Rosa, EBX says the menu at Berkeley's new Kiraku has "broad scope and quirky appeal," The Merc checks out Aptos' Ristorante Barolo post-Food Network makeover, and finally theMarin IJ is impressed by new chef Austin Perkins' work at Nick's Cove.
[Photo: Molly DeCoudreaux]