Birdsong, San Francisco, 3/15/19

exterior
exterior

Birdsong is a good sized one star Michelin place that has opened in May of 2018.  Most of the space in the dining room is taken up by the large kitchen which is surrounded by a low counter and seats.  A few tables are on the outer edge of the place and we were lucky to snag a table right across from the kitchen action.  There is a comfy little reception area as well as party rooms downstairs that they were nice enough to give us a tour of after we ate.  Windows to the street are on one wall and the bare light wood tables are set with a large cloth napkin that houses the evening’s menu. Everyone receives the same tasting menu.  Clear glass ball light fixtures hang from the ceiling that add good lighting but most light comes from the glow of the kitchen which is filled with action.   Lots of plants, background rock music and wood beams soften the affect of the exposed ductwork.  Service was exceptionally friendly and helpful.  After they clear that there are no allergies or dietary restrictions the menu starts promptly and pacing continues at a good rate throughout the evening.  Portions are well done to not stuff you before the end.

kitchen
kitchen
inteior
interior
interior
interior
Frankie shared the restaurant details
Frankie shared the restaurant details
menu
menu
wine by the glass
wine by the glass
table setup
table set up
somm and Frankie
Sommelier Paul Beaton and Frankie

 

 

The first set of 3 courses came at one time.  Succulents, Shigoku oyster, seaweed, vinegar and dill was a nicely seasoned and balanced offering.  The Shigoku oyster was from Washington and very small and tasty.

first course
first course
Succulents, Shigoku oyster, seaweed, vinegar and dill
Succulents, Shigoku oyster, seaweed, vinegar and dill
closer
closer

Fish and chips, halibut and pommes soufflé was a a piece of halibut on top of a puffed potato.  A dab of tartar sauce completed the tasty bite.  It was very nice.

Fish and chips, halibut and pommes soufflé
Fish and chips, halibut and pommes soufflé
closer
closer

Bacon and eggs, pork belly and caviar was a piece of dehydrated bacon wrapping up  ingredients that were covered with chives on one end.

Bacon and eggs, pork belly and caviar
Bacon and eggs, pork belly and caviar
other end
egg end
chives
chive end
Frankie studied the weighted flatware rest
Frankie studied the weighted walnut and brass flatware rest made for the restaurant

 

 

An extra tidbit was a sea urchin cream puff.  It was a fried bread ball topped with a generous mound of sea urchin that was rich and really good.  The crisp ball was filled with goo and all was topped with a miso hollandaise and shiitake mushroom.  It was excellent.

sea urchin cream puff
sea urchin cream puff
other side
other side
Frankie climbed the ladder to upstairs
Frankie climbed the ladder to upstairs

 

 

The next series of offerings were from creek raised trout.  The first was a cured, smoked and warmed in cedar piece of trout tenderloin.  It had a velvety texture and was lightly smoked in flavor.  It was really nicely seasoned and presented in the cedar wrapper on some cedar branches.

creek raised trout - cured, smoked, warmed in cedar
creek raised trout – cured, smoked, warmed in cedar
inside
inside
little closer
little closer

A sandwich of skin held roe, spine meat and horseradish.  The crispy trout skin was totally puffed and then filled with poppy roe and some mild horseradish.  Really fun textures in this one were more striking than the mild flavor.  Good.

creek raised trout - sandwich of skin, roe, spine meat, horseradish
creek raised trout – sandwich of skin, roe, spine meat, horseradish
one closer
one piece closer
from the top
from the top

Lastly was a warm custard of dried bones and pickled aged radish.  The lovely smooth custard was below a layer of leaves, flowers, vegetables and radish.  It was full of flavor and really good.

creek raised trout - custard of dried bones, aged radish
creek raised trout – custard of dried bones, aged radish
closer
closer
inside
inside
Frankie identified the feathers
Frankie identified the feathers

 

 

A Guinea hen yakitori was seasoned with Indian spices and hen egg-bone glaze.  It was 2 leg pieces presented in a bowl of the bird’s feathers.  The feet were intact and to be used as a handle to eat the glazed, tender and moist meat.  It was a showy presentation that was really fun and added to the tastiness of the tasty meat that had hints of curry.   Afterward they brought a moist towel to clean up your hands that I mostly had licked clean.

Guinea hen yakitori, Indian spices, hen egg-bone glaze
Guinea hen yakitori, Indian spices, hen egg-bone glaze
Frankie checked it out
Frankie checked it out
closer
closer
inside
inside
towel to clean up
towel to clean up
Frankie admired the claws
Frankie admired the claws

 

 

Aged duck was served with a ragout of innards, feet, preserved huckleberries, mustard greens and black chestnut.  The duck was nicely rare and very tender.  The mustard greens beside were truly excellent, tasting nutty from the browned butter sauce.  The ‘relish’ in the middle had a variety of tastes and textures that went well with the duck.  It was a very good plate.

Aged duck ragout of innards, feet, preserved huckleberries and black chestnut
Aged duck ragout of innards, feet, preserved huckleberries and black chestnut
closer
closer
press
press
Frankie made a friend
Frankie made a friend

 

 

A barbecued carrot was served with elderberries.  The carrot had been cooked in its own juices and then coated with BBQ sauce containing carrot juice and pickled elderberries.  The texture told you it was a carrot but the flavor was amazing, sweet and delicious.  It was an heirloom carrot that was massaged over smoke for days to have the smoke penetrate the sides.  The BBQ sauce had 27 ingredients including browned butter.  Let me say again, it was excellent.

BBQ carrot, elderberries
BBQ carrot, elderberries
closer
closer
other side
other side
another side
another side
Frankie napped on the hand towels
Frankie napped on the hand towels

 

 

Peruvian purple cornbread was coated with grilled butter and cut at the table.  It was really interesting being dark  but trust me it had a wonderful taste and texture. It was softer with a dense, custard-like consistency and a bit of sweetness.  I loved it and asked for a second piece.  This was a yum x3.

cutting cornbread
cutting cornbread
plating
plating
Peruvian purple cornbread, grilled butter
Peruvian purple cornbread, grilled butter
another side
another side

 

The next set of courses to go with the cornbread were about a Sonoma lamb, grilled olives and nettle stew.  The sauce was seasoned with bone marrow and made a really good one that combined well with well flavored olives, lamb and greens.

next course
next course
Sonoma lamb, grilled olive and nettle stew
Sonoma lamb, grilled olive and nettle stew
closer
closer
turned
turned
turned
turned

Along with the lamb was a garnet yam and condiment of lamb shoulder – a sweet and sticky yummy creation of shoulder meat and yam.  Yum again.

garnet yam, condiment of lamb shoulder
garnet yam, condiment of lamb shoulder
IMG_7265
turned

Also presented were Hen of the Woods mushroom with leg farce.  The mushrooms were a tad tough and the meat here more like hot dog texture.  Not my favorite part of the course.

hen of the woods, mushroom, leg farce
hen of the woods, mushroom, leg farce
another side
turned

Lastly presented was a broth from the grilled bones.  It was strongly flavored in a good way.  You could imagine yourself eating lamb when drinking the well done broth. The aroma was wonderful.

broth from grilled bones
broth from grilled bones
Frankie climbed the wood pile
Frankie climbed the wood pile

 

 

The first dessert was a pine needle sorbet with pollen and fermented honey.  The sorbet tasted strongly of pine with a puddle of honey in the middle highlighted with a few mini cones.  It was nice and well flavored but not spectacular.

Pine needle sorbet, pollen and fermented honey
Pine needle sorbet, pollen and fermented honey
closer
closer
Frankie studied the tile
Frankie studied the tile

 

 

The second dessert was much better – apple pie with thyme ice cream. The pie had a mixture of apples that were well flavored with cinnamon, vanilla, lemon and butter.  The crust was very nice and had not softened but instead stayed nicely crisp to contrast well with the soft apples.  The thyme ice cream also had a bit of lemon.  It was nice.  They were kind enough to box up the last of the pie so I could have it for breakfast the next day.

apple pie presentation
apple pie presentation
cutting pie
cutting pie
cut
cut pie
Apple pie, thyme ice cream
Apple pie, thyme ice cream
ice cream closer
ice cream closer
apple pie closer
apple pie closer
another side
another side
Frankie figured the rest was hers
Frankie figured the rest was hers

 

 

We finished with a nice note from the Birdsong family thanking us for dining there and sent a couple long squash toffees to go with it.  A fine ending for a wonderful meal.  Afterward they gave us a little tour of the lower level party rooms and meat storage.

Frankie liked the note from the staff
Frankie liked the note from the staff
some candies to go with
some candies to go with
room filled
room filled
downstairs seating
downstairs seating
downstairs dining
downstairs dining
downstairs meat locker
downstairs meat locker
Frankie wanted in
Frankie wanted in
art
art
Frankie checked out the wood pattern
Frankie checked out the wood pattern
another smaller table
another smaller table
Frankie and turntable
Frankie and a turntable
interesting floor in entry
interesting floor in entry
interior
interior looking from the front door
hanging stuff at entry
hanging stuff at entry
exterior at night
exterior at night
chef and frankie
Chef Christopher Bleidorn and Frankie

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