However, in order to truly comprehend what made our experience so tremendously special, these three photographs might offer slightly better insight:
In short: P-Nut, Kelvin, Katie, Rum and Eleanor - just to name a few.
Chef and owner Stuart Brioza explained to us that one of the most amazing and rewarding aspects of his job is working with such extraordinarily talented chefs who simultaneously create a kitchen that is, "Loose without being sloppy."
Sitting at the chef's counter certainly has its benefits - the luxury of watching plates created from start to finish, elegantly crafted and seamlessly moved across the pass: creativity at its finest. Yet despite the dozens of covers and countless, meticulous dim-sum-style dishes served on any given night, each and every chef took the time to laugh, talk, joke, smile, banter, and just be regular people with us.
All without breaking a sweat.
All while doing their jobs better than almost everyone else around the country.
Throughout our meal, we chatted mostly with P-Nut who cooked directly across from our seats. During the stints when our mouths weren't filled with the deliciousness she placed before us, we had the pleasure of discovering a bit more about her - from her background and goals as a chef to her plans for the next few days (we even found out her real name!). We talked to Kelvin as he whipped up ricotta dumplings and fry-bread with burrata, Eleanor as she crossed the kitchen for ingredients, Katie while she sliced and diced behind the counter, and Rum while she prepped and delivered desserts. Amiable, humble, and willing to spare time as if they didn't have a demanding job awaiting them.
But they did have a demanding job awaiting them.
About what did we chat? Everything and nothing: it was all just so normal, so natural, so genuinely real.
By virtue of the people themselves, the staff at State Bird Provisions provides more than some basic, "sense of place" touted by other establishments: there is simply more to it than that. It is above and beyond hospitality. It is these very specific people, these individual personalities, that left us both physically and emotionally full.
Wanting to grab a beer with them sometime - maybe catch a movie or just hang out in the park.
Leaving, we didn't merely exit a restaurant; instead, we bid adieu to our dear friends who invited us over that evening for dinner.
Or at least that's how it felt.