I’m not sure that my chef skills are quite refined enough for these preparations, but I’m willing to try. And bravo Bay Area, hopefully your enthusiasm for upland meals will spark a few of you to head to the field and harvest your own. California quail hunting has deep roots.
State Bird Provisions
The signature item on the menu where Stuart Brioza uses a dim sum approach to Western food is his fried quail with changing seasonal accompaniments. Recently the bird was served on a tangled bed of vinegar-braised onions.
Quail becomes a main course at this sexy bar/restaurant tucked away on tiny Lusk Street, South of Market. Chef Matthew Dolan chicken-fries the bird ($27) and serves it with bing cherries, cherry reduction and a maitake mushroom pancake.
At Ari Rosen‘s follow-up to his wildly popular Scopa in Healdsburg, the chef creates a small-plates menu that includes a crisp quail ($14.50), mostly boned and propped on grilled peaches, along with arugula, almonds and pickled onions.
Joseph Humphrey is fulfilling his California/Southern vision at his new Presidio restaurant. He serves the bird ($15) with a roasted garlic waffle and spicy cabbage salad. On the tasting menu he pairs quail with bourbon-soaked morels.
One of the most popular dishes on the menu at this Mission restaurant was fried chicken flavored with five spice. Now Gayle Pirie and John Clark have applied that same idea to quail, accompanying it with tomato chutney, radicchio and balsamic.
At his Thai-inspired restaurant in Hayes Valley, chef Tom Silargorn coats pieces of quail ($9.95) with garlic, which falls off the skin in crisp flakes, and serves the bird with brick-red chile sauce. He offers a similar preparation for frog legs and rabbit.
Michael Bauer is The San Francisco Chronicle‘s restaurant critic. Go to sfgate.com/food to read his previous reviews. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @michaelbauer1 Michael Bauer is The San Francisco Chronicle restaurant critic. E-mail: email@example.com