For anyone who’s ever thought of exploring the diverse cuisine of America’s 50 states, they need not go further than the stylish dining room at Bluestem Brasserie in downtown San Francisco. The airy space on Yerba Buena Lane, between Market and Mission Streets, is inviting diners to hit the road with their Thursday menu, American Road Trip, spotlighting a different state each week. The idea was hatched between Owners Adam and Stacy Jed, and chef Francis Hogan.
“We were further defining our American Brasserie menu and started asking ourselves the question, ‘What is American cuisine?’” said Stacy. “Unable to come up with a satisfying answer, we decided to create a dish-of-the-week that drew from the produce, livestock and cultural influences indigenous to each state.”
The answer may not have been satisfying but the menus certainly have been. The “Road Trip” was an instant hit, according to Stacy, and has sold out each week since launching with Alaska last October.
Chef Hogan creates the menus no more than 3-4 weeks out, adhering to Bluestem’s commitment to seasonal produce and full-animal utilization. March’s menus gave diners a taste of the following states:
North Dakota (March 7): A take on Raspeball, a Norwegian dish of potato dumplings and meats. Bluestem’s version will feature summer sausage, smoked trout, braised pork shoulder chops, and grilled spring onions. Dessert: Rhubarb crisp.
West Virginia (March 14): Seared wild boar rack, crispy corn cake, grilled ramps, roasted apple fondue. Dessert: Strawberry buckwheat cake.
Colorado (March 21): Fat Tire braised Buffalo short ribs, Anasazi beans, Colorado Mexican rice, green chili relish Dessert: Butter crunch toffee.
“We are having an amazing time exploring, learning, and celebrating the diversity of our nation,” says Stacy. “Since we are not looking to re-create dishes, we are finding boundless ideas for every menu.”
Go ahead and reserve a table for April’s culinary journey or for the inaugural road trip’s last stop in the fall — California, of course!
Photos Courtesy of Bluestem Brasserie