It’s Instagram Travel Thursday where we’re linking up with other bloggers from all over the world to share Instagram (& other) photos of our travels! This week we’re picking up where we left off in our most recent trip to Northern California, back in the fall.
The next of our vacation was our 3rd anniversary, so we celebrated by sleeping in as long as East Coasters on the West Coast can do & drinking in the last drops of Napa before heading to San Francisco. So, of course, that meant lunch at Mustards Grill. It was a repeat visit for us, but with the meal & service we had last time, & their unapologetic “Sorry, everything is delicious” & “Too many wines” statements, it’s kind of hard to resist. Plus, we had to go back for the onion rings.
After lunch, we hit our last wine tasting of the trip…Silver Oak. Earlier in our trip, we visited their sister label, Twomey, but when in Napa, it’s best to partake in some exceptional Cabs, so who are we to argue?
& with wine country under our belts, we hit the road to the city.
Once through the traffic, we checked in to what is quickly becoming our favorite hotel in the city. The Chancellor Hotel is comfortable, affordable, in a great location & has a pillow menu (Which, shamefully, we haven’t tried. Because the regular pillows are really that good).
We got our rooms, ditched our bags, & hoofed it 1.5 miles to our next destination: DINNER.
It is deserving of all caps, because we’ve kind of started a thing.* A thing in which we have happened to be celebrating our anniversary in the same city that Bon Appétit has declared the Best New Restaurant. Our first anniversary we spent at The Umstead Hotel…not too shabby. Second anniversary, Charleston, South Carolina…Best New Restaurant: Husk. So, yeah. We went there. Third anniversary, San Fransisco…Best New Restaurant…State Bird Provisions.
I had my eye on the prize, but either misread the terms of reservation, or they changed & we missed our window. However, they “welcome walk-ins on a first-come, first-served basis and set aside about a third of our seats for those guests every night, including our chef’s counter and several tables in the dining room. Upon arrival, walk-ins should check in with our host to be either seated immediately or placed on our nightly wait list, which is maintained at the door.” So we took our chances & lined up outside the restaurant before they opened. The food sounded too good to miss any opportunity.
We walked in the tiny restaurant & most of the people ahead of us were seated. The host took our name & phone number & said she would text us when our seats were available…in about an hour & a half. Checking Yelp, we headed around the corner to Fat Angel for drinks while we waited. They have a fabulous libation list & the food looked & smelled heavenly, too. We ordered a round of beers & hadn’t even finished before we were texted that our table was ready.
We chugged & paid up & ran back to State Bird, where we were seated at the chef’s counter.
Seriously? Walk ins? We got the best seat in the house.
Now, State Bird has been called dim sum, tapas, small plates, what have you, but the basic concept is there is a set menu & a cart that travels around the dining room with whatever comes out of the kitchen on that given day. You order to your hearts’ content & stop when you’re stuffed, & as now you can see why the chef’s counter is the best spot to be…everything comes right to you first.
Fried green tomatoes? Yes. Kimchi pork belly with tofu? Yes. Garlic bread with burrata? Yes. Tuna confit with black garlic aioli & nori chip? HELL. YES. Plus the sweet corn & mt. tam shortstack pancakes & state bird with provisions (fried quail with sweet & sour onions) we ordered off the menu, followed by the “world peace” with peanut muscovado milk for dessert…like the video above says, people try to eat it all, but it’s about 30 dishes….but we did our damnedest.
Best meal we’ve ever had.
I think I tried to tell owner, Nicole Krasinski, that…I think I at least managed “It’s our anniversary & we’re so happy to be here!!”
After dinner, we were absolutely, positively stuffed, but managed to crawl uphill to Toronado, our favorite, un-airconditioned, cash only dive in the city that just so happened to be having a wet hop festival with plenty of unavailable-to-us-at-home hoppy brews. I think we managed about 1.5 beers each before our stomachs could take no more & we hailed a cab back to The Chancellor.
Those pillows were amazing.
*So, this thing. As it stands, we haven’t planned a vacation for this year. We’re sort of waiting for the Best New Restaurant announcement. If it happens to be somewhere we’d like to go, let the streak continue!