Chef Mark Connell doesn't mind veering off track, then correcting his course. The reimagined interior in his restaurant is a testament to that, featuring an exposed brick wall that he resurfaced himself when brick experts deemed the material too delicate. And, when the brick didn't reach the ceiling, he added hand-stained wood panels that completely belie the building's origins as a Pizza Hut. It stands to reason that when, in 2016, State Capital Kitchen's first concept of having waiters serve from dim sum carts didn't pan out, Connell took another stab at the menu and came back all smiles. Taste reigns in his inventive reshaping of dishes like suckling pig three ways ($28), with wonton, tenderloin and confit on roasted Brussels sprouts with ginger jus. He's also hungry to get his version of delicacies like foraged mushrooms and seasonal delights like stuffed squash blossoms on every diner's plate. A globe of chocolate paired with a warm sauce that melts right into the ice cream inside comes in seasonal varieties. Saying ah is always in season. For these reasons and so many more, SFR is proud to name State Capital Kitchen our Restaurant of the Year.

State Capital Kitchen
500 Sandoval St., 467-8237
Dinner Tuesday-Saturday; brunch Sunday