Bauer has finally dropped his review of The Progress, and it's mostly a rave, with tons of praise for the "passion and vision" of Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski's State Bird Provisions follow-up. He's excited by the "bold contrast of flavors and textures" in Brioza's cooking, calling out the pig fries with romanesco as "destined to be a signature," and citing the "magnificent" flavor combination of the pecorino roti with truffles. And he loves everything from Krasinski, "one of the city's best pastry chefs." The "excellent" cocktails and Jason Alexander's "serious credentials" on the wine list also get shouts.
Of course, it wouldn't be a Bauer review without a weird and lengthy gripe, in this case a two-paragraph exegesis on the attire of the waiters, who are allowed to wear clothing of their choosing, like "untucked and wrinkled plaid shirts or just about anything you'd see on Fillmore Street." He'd rather they wear matching T-shirts and jeans or white shirts and slacks, because after all, "What impact would the Rockettes have if they all wore street clothes?" (Apparently the servers' "excellent...well-trained and professional" work is beside the point.)
Though "not every dish is flawless...a few combinations tended to be jarring," Bauer is ultimately taken by a vibe that's "innovative and familiar at the same time," dropping three stars on The Progress. Given that verdict, don't expect the challenge of getting a table to lessen any.