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A Meal at AQ, Illustrated

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House-cured sturgeon with compressed apple and potato was a standout.

The recently opened AQ (1085 Mission Street between 6th and 7th), situated on a fairly desolate block of SoMa, is turning out some pretty ambitious and mostly un-fussy food. Chef Mark Liberman is playing with unique flavor combinations like crab, toasted barley, and Douglas fir; and cured sturgeon, juniper, yogurt, and compressed apple. And from what we’ve tasted of the just-launched cocktail program, from bar manager Tim Zohn, the place stands to give Heaven’s Dog and Bar Agricole a run for their money in terms of cocktail geekery in the ‘hood — and the drinks all taste great too, so that’s a plus.

View the full menu here, and take note that this autumn menu will be changing within two weeks, in honor of the solstice, to a completely new winter menu that will be in place through the vernal equinox (or the Saturday before), in March. Along with the seasonal menu change at the restaurant, AQ owner Matt Semmelhack is taking a cue from New York restaurant Park Avenue Winter (/Spring/Summer/Autumn) — which does something similar along with changing its name — and changing up the restaurant décor with each season as well. Gone will be the gold-leafed, autumn-themed glassware at the bar, as well as the rusty-chic lighting in the center of the dining room, the copper bar top, the autumn leaves on the tree branches at each column, and the plaid shirts on servers; in will come a white marble bar top, bare branches, and new wintry glassware, lighting, and uniforms as well.

Below, a slideshow from a recent meal.

AQ - 1085 Mission Street between Sixth and Seventh - 415.341.9000 - Open 5:30 to 11 p.m. daily, and for brunch on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Earlier: Exclusive: First Look Inside AQ Restaurant, Opening Next Week

A Meal at AQ, Illustrated