Best New Restaurant - 2012
State Bird Provisions
Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski's State Bird Provisions may be the most fascinating restaurant to open this year. Small and sparsely decorated, the restaurant is innovative not just in the format of its service — small trays that circle the room, dim sum style — but in the food that the two chefs (he savory, she sweet) put out. The carts allow them to take risks, selling diners on the look of complex dishes rather than hoping they respond to a menu description. And the chefs' idiosyncratic tastes come through in every dish. They pull off flavor combinations that less experienced chefs would never be able to make work: trout with garum brown butter, hazelnuts, and ginger, say, or chocolate-sesame bark with chocolate mousse and clementine jam. And the dishes change so frequently that surprise is the only constant. A unique vision, beautifully realized.