When last we checked in with TBD, the new spot from the team behind AQ, they were starting construction for a late-summer opening. Now that we're there, though, TBD (yes, that's its real name) is looking more like it'll open sometime in the fall. Owner Matt Semmelhack explained the reasoning behind the project to Inside Scoop: "Originally we were going to do a market and butcher shop. We were going to do something similar to Bon Marché, but the way the timing and brainstorming worked out, we settled on the TBD concept...It's still approachable fine dining in terms of food, but even one step back from AQ. It's important to know that we can give good service and hospitality without the formality of Michelin-star restaurants. With TBD, we expect a welcoming, casual, warm, fun place — where you can come in and have a good time and have a few beers, which is not exactly AQ."
As previously discussed, TBD's focus will be live-fire cooking of all stripes, from open fires to grills to rotisseries to hearths. That ethos will play out in dishes like artichoke and Dungeness crab with sea urchin, duck cassoulet, and live shrimp, and the menu will also feature a "raw" section with options like fluke crudo and escarole hearts with grapes, tarragon, and goat cheddar. For dessert, they'll offer s'mores for two with housemade marshmallows, or apple cake baked in a miniature Dutch oven.
Bar manager Tim Zohn and wine director Kristen Capella will emphasize beer more strongly in the new project than at AQ, serving up a variety of brews (including PBR) to complement 10-15 wines by the glass and half-bottle. They're also trying to put together one of the area's largest sherry programs. Since TBD won't have full liquor, Zohn will also offer housemade sodas and aperitif-style, low-alcohol cocktails. Mark Liberman will be the head chef of both restaurants, but current AQ sous chef Alex Phaneuf will help run the TBD kitchen once it's open. The only date they'll give at the moment for opening is "fall."
· AQ's Matt Semmelhack on restaurant evolution and TBD [Inside Scoop]
· The Big Reveal On AQ's New Project Next Door: TBD [~ ESF ~]
· AQ Team Opening a New Restaurant [~ ESF ~]