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One of the hottest destinations since its December 2011 opening (and still nearly impossible to get into, thanks to online reservations that are never available), State Bird snared a James Beard Award right out of the gate—a nearly unheard-of occurrence. Chef Stuart Brioza’s creative, fresh, internationally influenced small plates are wheeled around on carts and carried on trays—just like at your favorite Chinese dim sum restaurant—and they are impossibly good. In the casual, friendly dining room with a shockingly tiny open kitchen, everything comes easily—perhaps too much so; you need only point to what you want as it passes by. The enthusiastic staff might offer you Nova Scotia oysters with spicy kohlrabi kraut and sesame seeds, or croquettes created from rabbit and fontina cheese; you can also order from a small menu of standards, which includes savory pancakes. Whatever the case, you’re bound to have a meal to remember. Reservations are necessary up to 60 days in advance. If you don’t have one, stand in line at 4:30pm, and wait for the doors to open at 5:30pm—you will eventually get seated; one third of the restaurant is set aside for walk-ins, including the chefs’ counter where you get the best view of the cooks in action.