Don’t you just love when the stars align and things somehow work out? Last weekend I noticed people starting to post about, The Progress, a new restaurant I’ve had my eye on but, wasn’t aware had opened yet. From the owners of State Bird Provisions, The Progress is the new kid on the block and if its predecessor is any indication, getting a table would require you to stand in a line that wrapped around the block. In an eager rush to get a reservation, though I figured I never would (they have articles about it), I found myself on Opentable entering random dates and clicking refresh. Then something magical happened – there at the bottom of my screen were a few words “Sunday January 11th at 5:45pm”. An opening for the very next day and without even talking to my boyfriend I clicked reserve. I had found a unicorn.
Showing up to The Progress was like getting into a club without waiting in line. Groups walked out past us because the next available table was at the earliest 9:15pm. Amateurs. We gave our name and was escorted to the beautiful bar to grab a drink before getting seated. This is where the best part of the night happened. As I was about to order some fruity cocktail, my boyfriend suggested we try the martini. Alright, I thought, it seemed fitting for the chic vibe of the place. Little did I know I was about to embark on the BEST MARTINI I HAVE EVER HAD!! Granted I haven’t had that many, but this one was better than I could have ever imagined. It was a dirty martini with smoked olive juice, a castelvetrano olive and finished with tiny drops of rosemary oil. I still dream about that martini (I even ordered Rosemary oil although I am not entirely sure I got the edible kind…).
After a couple minutes we were escorted to our table, drinks in hand. The decor of the restaurant is very inviting and organic feeling. The lights are high enough to see the entire room, but not clinical. We were handed our menu with a detailed description on how to order – with a number two pencil. The menu is like a multiple choice test. Fill in the little bubble next to the 6 – 7 plates we wanted to share between us. This is what we ordered*:
This Afternoon’s Ricotta with Beets & Spicy Mandarin – can-I-have-the-recipe amazing.
Yuzu & Olio Nuovo Marinated Raw Tuna with Green Daikon – holy cow amazing.
Sunchoke, Rosemary & Pecorino ‘Roti’ – I would eat here everyday for this dish alone.
Wild Mushroom with Pickled Local Nori & Kale – M loved this. I thought it was only okay.
Aromatic Squab with Salted Chili Paste – Spicy! And served with the foot of the squab, so M and I were both a little if-y about it.
Grilled BN Ranch Beef with Mustard-Miso Oyster Sauce – it’s steak so it’s amazing.
Honey Cocoa Ice-Cream & Cornmeal-Beer Crepe – whoever makes the crepes here should be president. holy cow amazing.
Overall, the atmosphere and the food left us with such a positive experience. The staff was friendly, informed and attentive without being intrusive. The food was not only delicious, but creative, fresh and the perfect amount of filling (we left totally satisfied, but not stuffed to the brim). I honestly can’t wait to go back. I am happy to sit on Opentable clicking refresh if it means I get to experience that wonderful food journey (progression?) again. However, the best part is knowing I don’t need a reservation to experience that mind-blowing Martini. You can find me at the bar…
*It should be noted that they were extremely accommodating with my boyfriend’s onion allergy and didn’t seem frustrated by it at all! They suggested options, checked with the chef and allowed us to enjoy the evening deliciously onion free. You would be surprised how rare this is.