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