On June 17th, AQ Restaurant will say goodbye to spring for 2012. The recent James Beard Award-nominee is noteworthy for changing their decor (in addition to their menu, of course) with each passing season. You will want to catch springtime (don't leave, fava beans!) before it ends. Why? Because AQ is also well-deservedly ballyhooed for concocting some of the best grub the state has to offer. No joke. The pork trotter was one of the better overall experiences we had this year, food- or otherwise.
Executive chef/owner Mark Liberman's fare combines modern cooking technologies with to traditional Mediterranean. The result is nothing short of miraculous — at least to us, anyway. Furthermore, its admittedly trepidatious locale outside, on Mission between Seventh and Sixth, belies the actually, literally, truly remarkable experience inside.
Your spring menu is as follows:
"SAUSAGE" OF CHARD & GOLDEN BEETS, butter beans, giardiniera & argan oil
CHICKEN & SHRIMP, chrysanthemum, peanuts, burnt pineapple & kaffir lime
HALIBUT, braised & raw radishes, calamari, sunflower seeds & arugala
YOUNG LAMB, heirloom carrots, chickpeas, oxalis & sheeps milk
ARCTIC CHAR with fig wood, artichokes, red wine & tarragon
PORK TROTTER, spring garlic, snails & avocado
KAMPACHI, green strawberry, celery with horseradish
SOFT SHELL CRAB, bonito butter, sweet onion & rhubarb
QUAIL & KILLED LETTUCES, smoked bacon, dates & cerignolas
GUINEA HEN TERRINE, young leeks, watercress & dried apricot
FAVA BEANS green almonds, sumac berry & falafel flavors
ASPARAGUS, white chocolate, steelhead roe & borage
FARM EGG, wild mushrooms with garden peas
And more. Much more.
Oh, and if you're not hungry tonight saunter up to the bar instead. The AQ bar — boasting a wine list curated by beverage director Kristen Capella and a cocktail menu created by...God, maybe? It sure taste like it — is reason enough to venture over on the grittier side of SoMa tonight.
AQ Restaurant, 1085 Mission (at Seventh Street), S.F., 415-341-9000