AQ Seasonal Restaurant | Mid-Market, San Francisco, CA

AQ reinvents itself four times a year

In San Francisco, it's often hard to remember what time of year it is, given that it's 65 degrees and sunny in December, and an arctic wind sweeps through the city in June.

Those in need of a reminder can ditch the calendar and book a table at AQ.

The new mid-Market restaurant, with former La Folie chef Mark Liberman at the helm, is aggressively seasonal. Not only does the menu change four times a year, but so too the décor, the glassware–even the lighting will be altered as the year progresses.

Now, the restaurant is firmly in autumn's grip, with a menu dominated by humble fall vegetables, from Jerusalem artichokes to cabbage. For an innovative vegetarian main, kohlrabi is joined by parsnips, carrots and cipollini onions in a robust take on boeuf bourguignon ($24). Chestnuts, those holiday harbingers, are showcased in a dish with boudin noir and quince ($10).

There are also happy marriages of land and sea: The first Dungeness of the season is combined with barley and wild mushrooms, the fungi's earthy flavor enhancing the mild crustacean ($13).

The time to try these dishes is now, before the restaurant reinvents itself for winter.

AQ, 1085 Mission St. (at 7th St.); 415-341-9000 or