Uh, woops. So, like, um, I went to AQ, this hot new restaurant. And I went there, like, um, oh, I don’t know, maybe three months ago? You know, when it was still new? And then I came home, uploaded the photos and then forgot. Until now. When I can’t remember what I really ate. But I do have the pictures. Which is proof I went there. And so you can enjoy the aesthetics of former La Folie co-0wner chef Mark Liberman.
What I do remember is that I liked it. The restaurant is situated in an unforgivable spot on Mission and 7th, across from one of the federal buildings. It sits, on that terribly dead block, like it’s own oasis. Your own mirage, if you will. But it’s real. You’ll know that when you walk into the (loudish) restaurant, and note the hopping bar area and open (and full) counter seating where the food is prepared. You might also notice, like I did, the Anthropologie-esque quality to the restaurant. Really. I don’t know about the whole mirrored art piece on the wall and the various walls of twigs, but someone’s wife must really really like that store.
In any event, the critics have raved about this place. On my end, I thought the food was compelling, interesting, and tasty, although I think at that time, there were still missteps in the service (remember, this is several months ago, and only a couple months after they opened). They’re not sure exactly how friendly they should be yet. They put forth an ambitious menu, that changes with the seasons. And if you are just plain dumb — or more likely, too drunk to remember what season it is — the entrance walkway will let you know, as there is an embedded, but obviously removable, placard that indicates what season it is.
Here’s the photo tour:
Cauliflower, with various textures, golden raisins & vadouvan (sorry for the lame picture).Chestnuts, boudin noir, quince & brussels sprouts.Venison tartare with celeriac, mustard & their leaves, preserved egg yolk.
Branzino, soft & crunchy potato, chard, guanciale & sweet onion.
An addition to the regular menu: pork belly.
Local & artisan cheeses, daily offerings, jellies, honeycomb & walnuts.
Dark chocolate chibouste, graham cracker & torched marshmallow.