There was a flurry of excitement on Twitter last Friday with some speculation about beer and wine license activity for ~STATE BIRD PROVISIONS~, an upcoming restaurant project from Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski, the beloved and talented culinary team that was behind the now-shuttered (and still-missed) Rubicon. Well, now I can let the bird out of the bag: they are opening their highly unique concept in a long-vacant space that flanks the back of The Fillmore, at 1529 Fillmore Street.
Anyone who fondly remembers the cuisine at Rubicon will recall Brioza’s and Krasinski’s flavors that spanned a variety of regions, from France to America to Spain to Japan, utilizing beautifully sourced and highly seasonal ingredients. Well, get ready to experience them in an entirely new way, because instead of ordering appetizers and entrées off a set menu through a server, an array of dishes are going to be arriving to your table via cart and tray. Imagine a server presenting your table with a tray of six identical starter-sized plates of Brioza’s famed crispy spiced quail (which incidentally inspired the name of the restaurant)—your table will be able to select as many as you want. And then a little while later, a cart will wheel up to your table with another selection of dishes—like a geoduck clam and potato salad, or perhaps chicken hearts and salsa verde—fresh out of the kitchen. And if your table is pining for another round of a particular dish, say, the cecina of beef top round with spicy eggplant, or the milk pudding dessert with satsuma and shaved deglet noir dates, a server can relay the request to the kitchen. The plan is to offer upwards of 40 different dishes, which will constantly shift based on the whims of the kitchen.
The experience will feel a bit dim sum-like, with a touch of a tapas, izakaya, and hors d’oeuvre spirit. There will be a few larger plates available each night, with a tight printed menu listing a few consistent items, like salads. Dishes will range from $2-$15, with the larger plates costing a bit more. It’s a fun concept Brioza and Krasinski have had in the back of their minds since they first met, and this space presented them the perfect opportunity to bring it to life.
State Bird Provisions will be open nightly from 5pm-12am. The pace is designed to be quick and engaging—so whether you are swinging by for a bite before a show at the Fillmore or Yoshi’s or the Boom Boom Room, a movie at the Kabuki, or maybe it’s a pit stop after grabbing drinks at DOSA or Rasselas, you can scale your meal accordingly. There will even be a cashier in an effort to streamline the whole experience. Beer and wine will be offered, with about eight beer selections (both on draft and bottled), and a simple list of 10 or so well-chosen wines clocking in at $40 or less.
So, let’s talk layout. The first thing passers-by will notice about the space is a side view of the kitchen crew hard at work in the front window. Upon entering the restaurant, there will be an open kitchen with a long line on the right, and a small stand-up bar will run along length of the kitchen (there won’t be any counter seats, however). Diners can be seated at tables in the back of the restaurant—there will be room for just shy of 50 guests in all. I’ll be able to share more design details soon, and other exciting components to the project. But for now, I know a lot of us will be looking forward to November, the current targeted opening date. 1529 Fillmore St. at Geary.
The current exterior of 1529 Fillmore Street. (Photo courtesy of Stuart Brioza.)