While Palo Alto’s Baumé may be able to hold it down with one Michelin star, there’s not a ton else going on in the town, according to chef Robbie Wilson (Mattei's Tavern). And he wants to change that in the form of his soon-to-open restaurant Bird Dog. Wilson has cooked around the country, including The French Laundry, Matsuhisa and more, and he wants to bring those sensibilities to what may be a sleepy dining scene.
"It's fetal in its existence; it’s just trying to start. For me, San Francisco is the dining city in the US of A right now, and a lot of people that live in these communities down here have trickled down from SF and want some of those same experiences," he explained. "You have old, established places, and then we're kind of the young gun that took this idea that we could have easily done in SF, LA or Chicago and said we're gonna stick it right in the middle of downtown Palo Alto."
Wilson partnered with his wife Emily Perry Wilson and investors Chamath Palihapitiya and Brigette Lau on a concept that reflects the way they like to eat: starting with raw fish, moving onto meats and finishing with vegetables. It’s all smaller portions, so tables can try a larger portion of the menu at once. "We're not going to be innovative in terms of cuisine; we're not going to try to be the next Noma. At the end of the day I cook food I want to eat," Wilson said. "With all the innovation that happens in this area, I think it's just nice to be around likeminded people that like to push a little bit. These people have pushed with technology, and we're going to push with dining." Bird Dog expects to open at 420 Ramona St. this fall.