The newest restaurant from Adriano Paganini (Back of the House) has arrived. This one is simpler than some of his others (which include Lolinda, Beretta, Delarosa, Belga, and more), offering a very petite menu in an order-at-the-counter service model. It’s simpler, even, than his other fast casual ventures — Super Duper and Uno Dos Tacos — which both have longer menus than The Bird. Instead, The Bird opens Wednesday, October 19 with just two items on its menu: fried chicken sandwiches and curly fries.
Helming the kitchen is the creator of said fried chicken sandwich, chef Blair Warsham, who used the simplicity of the menu to "geek out" on those two items, he told Eater SF. In addition to a resume of Michelin-starred restaurants like The Restaurant at Meadowood, Warsham opened Tinder Box in Bernal Heights, before closing the restaurant to focus on his consulting company, Pilot Light. He’s the consulting chef on this project, and will usher the restaurant through opening and eventually becoming a partner.
The chicken sandwich he conceived is made with boneless chicken thighs (all-natural, air chilled, free range product, naturally), and breaded in a gluten-free mix of rice flour, masa, potato starch, corn starch, baking powder, and a spice blend (with berber spice, an African spice that plays homage to where fried chicken originated). The toasted bun is from Super Duper (minus sesame seeds), and there’s also mayonnaise, Super Duper pickles, and a slaw made with celery, apple, purple onion, purple cabbage, parsley, cider vinegar, champagne vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. It runs for $8, alongside housemade curly fries that are available plain or fully loaded with applewood smoked bacon, sharp cheddar cheese, crema, and green onions.
And that’s it. (For now; eventually there will be a salad, a grilled chicken option, and beer.) Other than those two items, the focus is on hospitality and vibe, with which Warsham has been closely involved. Expect to hear lots of rap, punk rock, and hip hop playing from the speakers, plus plenty of smiles from staff in the space designed by Hannah Collins (Beretta, Barzotto, Delarosa). "Our focus is on four things: music, hospitality, beer, and chicken," Warsham said. "We're no frills. We want people to feel really comfortable and focus on being hospitable."
During opening week, The Bird will sell just 200 sandwiches and orders of curly fries daily starting at 11 a.m. More regular hours and the full menu will follow next week.
Disclosure: Carolyn Alburger, the Cities Director for Eater, is married to consulting chef Blair Warsham. She has recused herself from involvement in any Bird coverage on Eater.