In December, news spilled that the AQ men, Matt Semmelhack and chef Mark Liberman, would be opening a restaurant "completely driven by fire," right next door, at 1077 Mission Street. Yesterday Semmelhack and Eater caught up on many more juicy details, along with the full-on 3D drawing you see above. First off, the restaurant's name is TBD, seriously. Semmelhack says the idea sprung up when one blog wrote that the name of the new AQ spinoff was TBD. The menu at the new restaurant will be quite dynamic, changing almost entirely every week. So, given the up-in-the-air nature of the food, the name stuck.
The menu will indeed be cooked entirely by fire-powered methods, an approach Semmelhack calls "limiting and freeing." Although roasted meats will feature prominently, Liberman will push beyond that, using a fire-powered smoker, hearth, grill and varying cooking times to create a wide range of preparations.
The menu will follow the same tiered pricing structure as AQ, with probable categories: fowl, seafood, red meat, and so on. That said, everything will be more affordable. TBD will also offer several large format plates, like a spit-roasted side of pork or a rotisserie turkey, meant to be shared by groups of two, four or six. It all plays into the owners' desire to create an everyday neighborhood hang-out that's "much more casual than AQ," where group dining is easy and encouraged.
A theme of "gathering around the fire" will also carry into the decor, which will be "a little bit campy," "slightly rugged" and "outdoorsy." The walls and nooks will be decorated with vintage summer camp paraphernalia, including classic fire-engine-red vintage oil lamps like the one pictured here. Overall, it will be "a little more manly" than AQ, with 45-seats, overall, and about six seats at a bar overlooking an open kitchen.
TBD is beer and wine only, and "it wouldn't be out of place to have PBR in a can." There will be a wider selection of beer than at AQ—say 24—with a few on tap, and more wine available by the glass as well. As of now, it will probably open in late summer or early fall of this year, but the exact opening is, of course, TBD.
· All AQ Coverage [~ ESF ~]