AQ brunch [San Francisco]
We went to AQ for brunch on Sunday. It was a surprisingly chill scene considering the Folsom Street Fair participants both outside the restaurant and in.
Buttermilk donut holes
I had the melon gazpacho Bloody Mary, which was great. D's was even better though I don't recall the name (and the menu changes each week, so our dishes are not in the current menu posted to the site). Strong bar program here. I agreed with D that the coffee was weak but liked the nice touch of a rock candy stick instead of a sugar packet.
Experience-wise, this reminded me of our expensive and delicious brunch at Cotogna a while back. Cotogna's bomboloni were much better than AQ's, which I didn't think were distinguished in taste or texture. Hat tip to AQ for superior cocktails. The hash was subtle--not overly spiced or fatty. Perfect eggs, tender meat. The chopped tripe on a plank of chili oil soaked bread was great. I've visited AQ only twice, and am really impressed so far with the elegance of the dishes here.
Mrs. Rapini and I had brunch at AQ a few weeks back. As noted, the coffee tasted like some weak, mid-century Chock Full o' Nuts brew. The food was just so so--nothing memorable. We didn't have any alcohol--no eye-openers, no champagne or wine--and ended up with a tab of $65, including tip.
Over all, very disappointing. Based on print reviews and comments here, I had been looking forward to a dinner; but now I'm have second thoughts.
I had an excellent light lunch (was there mostly to drink wine) yesterday. Cooked and raw carrot dish with pine nuts and mint pesto, liver mousse on toast, pickled sardines with a salad of a frisee-like kale, and a lovely brioche with herb butter. All very tasty.