Uhm Hi!! I am officially obsessed with this place.
If The Progress is anything like its sister restaurant (next door), State Bird Provisions, it’s going to be almost impossible to get a reservation here in the next few months.
So what makes The Progress so special?
They serve a 6- course tasting menu for $65 per person.
But. It’s served “family- style.” And YOU get to pick your entire meal.
Kinda cool. Right?
Here’s how dinner went down: We walk in & the vibe is on-point. Chill music is playing in the background, we are immediately greeted and taken to our table, the servers are dressed in casual attire (ie: jeans and flannel), and the ambiance was super cool. For a meal of this caliber, you would think it’d be somewhat pretentious with people walking around in suit and ties- it wasn’t.
From start to finish, our entire 2 hr experience was very laid back & professional at the same time. It was perfect.
Oh, and did I forget to mention that it’s FUN!! Like even if you come here with boring Betty, you’ll still have a good time.
As soon as we sat down, we were given a menu and a #2 pencil. Out of 17 items, we got to choose 6 courses for the entire table (with option to add more as you like).
While we were deciding on what to get, a sampler platter of TINY bites came to the table (to be eaten with a toothpick).
And to be honest, I was shocked.
It was beautiful. Yes.
But, doesn’t it look like food for ants?? Oh, this plate is also to be shared between the three of us (insert: crying emoji). Everything was so damn delicious- it setup the rest of the meal perfectly. Basically, it got you excited for everything else to come.
Shortly after, our plates came out one by one (and since their menu changes all the time, I won’t bore you guys with every detail in every single dish).
The first 4 dishes below are the ones that really, really blew my mind:
First, we had the spiced lamb tartare with various “mix-in” condiments. The condiments included sprouts, sesame seeds, toasted pumpkin seeds, egg yolk bottarga, bronze fennel fronds, pickled kohlrabi strips and green onions. They served it with crunchy/salty black rice crackers.
Uhm, how on earth do they make these black rice crackers? Anyone??!!?!?!!
Next, was the shaved cauliflower herbs & pig fries. If this is still on the menu, it’s MUST GET. It was the perfect balance between flavors and textures- crispy, salty, crunchy and spicy. The herbs tasted like they were just pulled from the garden hours before.
Third, we had the pecorino ‘roti’ with perigord truffle buttermilk.
When it came to the table, everyone just looked at each other like, ‘THAT’S IT?’
But from the very first bite to the last, we couldn’t have enough of it. In fact, I’m still raving about it today to my friends: “GUYS, I JUST HAD THE BEST ROTI EVER!” (<– real life).
So even the simplest sounding menu item, was one of the biggest surprises. It was executed very well, and the truffle buttermilk was orgasmic. You gotta get it.
OMG. This squab. I didn’t even know what squab was until now. Every bite was tender with juicy flavors that can’t be described. The closest thing I can think of is the quail at Cockscomb but this is even BETTER.
The feet on the legs were a little freaky. Just ignore it.
This is the maitake, tofu & bok choy ‘stir fry’ with smoked black cod ponzu. I thought it was alright compared to the first four items (above). Perhaps I wasn’t quite as impressed since I’ve had better asian food. But overall, it was still a very well-balanced dish.
Lastly, we had the grilled Five Dot Ranch beef with mustard-miso oyster sauce.
The seasoning was on point and the meat was perfectly cooked. Dish is good overall but nothing mind blowing or super memorable compared to everything else.
For dessert: we ordered 1 of each, because a meal without dessert wouldn’t be complete. Plus, these were the perfect ending to an amazing experience.
Milk chocolate- black lager ice cream, cocoa sable & caraway seed (top)
Elderflower floating island, rhubarb sorbet & arnold palmer gelee (bottom)
Poppyseed angel cake, strawberries, sicilian pistachio & mascarpone (right)
The Progress also has a bar section serving the full dinner menu, so it’s a great option for anyone who can’t get a ressie. The best part: all 20 bar seats are available exclusively for walk-ins.
And this is what it looks like outside. There’s no signage, so just keep an eye out!
To sum it all up:
This is a place where you get to experience some of the best culinary dishes that SF has to offer –> without breaking the bank.
At The Progress, you know you will be getting an amazing meal & dining experience without sitting through a boring, pretentious 3 hour michelin meal.
Chefs Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski has been changing the game since they opened State Bird Provisions, offering small tapas in a dim sum cart format. For those of you who don’t know, it’s one of the most highly talked about restaurants EVER. And they’ve won a ton of awards… no big deal.
So. You can see why The Progress has been the talk of the town since they opened. And trust me, they definitely live up to the hype.
Got any special occasions, bdays or anniversaries coming up?
Because if I were you, I’d totally make a ressie ASAP (before it becomes impossible). Do it now, and you’ll thank me later!
1525 Fillmore St/ San Francisco, CA 94115 (b/t O’farrell St & Geary Blvd in Western Addition)
Phone number: (415) 673-1294