Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski had promised that they'd get their new restaurant The Progress up and running before the close of 2014, and it looks like they're going to be keeping that promise: the masterminds behind national phenomenon State Bird Provisions are angling to open their newest project, right next door, by next Tuesday. (Before you go rushing to OpenTable or updating your reservation bot code, though, be advised that they haven't put up reservations yet.)
Tablehopper was given a first inside look at The Progress, which moves away from State Bird's small-plates, dim-sum-style focus into more of a communal, family-style vibe. Groups choose the number of dishes they want, which are tailored to their party size, ($54/head for five, $68 for seven, $82 for nine, or a $108 "imperial menu"), then check off the count from a listing of 15 plates, plus dessert and add-ons like oysters. The menu hasn't been finalized yet, but some of the dishes sound pretty damn enticing, including roti with sunchokes, black truffle, and truffled buttermilk ranch; creamy pork broth with miso sausage meatballs, pumpkin mochi, kimchi, grated pumpkin, black butter, and pumpkin oil; and honey-cocoa ice cream with rose-hip-poached huckleberries, olio nuovo, and gold leaf.
To help get all that food out the door, Brioza and Krasinski have brought on a sizable staff, including GM and wine director Jason Alexander, chef de cuisine John Becker (Alain Ducasse, Boulevard, Prospect), bar manager Bryan Hamann (Monsieur Benjamin, RN74), and Krasinski's recently promoted co-pastry chef, Mikiko Yui. The space has a full bar, and some cocktails mentioned include a Negroni with umeboshi vermouth and a mezcal-banana-nocino number called The Mezzanine, a tribute to the location's former life as the Progress Theater (which dates to 1911).
At 54 seats, plus an additional 12 at the bar, The Progress is definitely not much larger than State Bird, and it's sure to acquire equally coveted reservations status (there's no word as of yet on how much of the dining room will be allotted to walk-ins). We'll have photos, menu info, and an official opening date coming up later this week, so stay tuned.