Wow…Houston’s very own Oxheart restaurant is named one of the ten best new restaurants in the entire country! How cool is that!
I read the ‘Best New Restaurants’ spread in this month’s Bon Appétit magazine on a recent flight to Oakland headed to Napa for a shoot. A big fan of long plane rides for the luxury of getting caught up on my reading, I read this issue from cover to cover.
The number one new spot that edged out Oxheart, according to Bon Appétit, is State Bird Provisions in San Francisco. A convenient coincidence since my flight was headed in that direction, so we managed to wrangle a reservation.
The space is tiny — narrow and long. The miniscule kitchen is right at the front door where most restaurants have their bars. A great seat is at that front door counter where you can watch all the action as the chefs work their magic in the ‘kitchen.’
If you’ve ever been to a dim sum restaurant, you’ll love the casual style of how State Bird provisions serves the food. Servers with food carts navigate the tiny aisles (there’s only two) going from table to table with dishes like fresh oysters topped with pickled kohlrabi [shown above], and scrumptious marinated beets with a creamy goat cheese.
SB Provisions is known for their fried quail, the state bird of California. Bon Appétit not only raved about it, but so did a friend of mine who lives in San Fran.
Being a Texas born and bred gal, I’ve had my fair share of good quail or so I thought. This dish was OUTSTANDING! The quail is delightfully crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside with plump, pristine white meat. It sits on top of a thick, luscious lemon and onion sauce—think lemon curd with onion and no sugar.
The atmosphere is casual and friendly – a great neighborhood spot. Save room for dessert. Co-owner and Chef Nicole Krasinski’s double chocolate pudding with plums is to die for! Dark, silky chocolate that isn’t syrupy sweet.
I asked for the recipe, and she said it’s too complicated for most at home cooks, but she graciously agreed to share another of her chocolate pudding recipes. She DID give the recipe to the ‘bird seed,’ that’s served with the pudding– a yummy, crunchy granola like cracker. Delish!
For more restaurant information, recipes and wine pairings, head to Goodtaste.tv. While you’re there sign up for my newsletter for a chance to win a relaxing weekend at the Westin La Cantera Hill Country Resort.