Preface: Blogger format is doing weird things and sort of.... smooshing my long pictures into squares....which is the worst because this is a primarily picture post. Hopefully it looks ok on your screens this was the most beautiful food I've ever eaten.
This post is looooooong over due and I think the main reason I have put it off is frankly because trying to describe this meal is one of the most overwhelming things I've ever considered doing. As part of my birthday celebrations I planned a fancy culinary date with myself. Dinner and a Show. Infamous food.... personality Anthony Bourdain and Esteemed Michelin Starred Chef Eric Ripert have taken their unique friendship on the road with a show of sorts "Good vs Evil" in which they discuss their views on the many facets of today's food culture along with other funny life experiences etc. When I saw that it would be in SF the week after my birthday I bought a ticket right away. I wasn't sure this was really the type of thing I could drag anyone else along for (the tickets weren't really cheap) so it became a fancy date night with myself. If I was going to have a proper culinary evening I needed to start it out with a unique dining experience. To my delight AQ restaurant is just a few walkable blocks from the Orpheum theater. Win win!
Situated in a busy but not entirely savory part of the city, walking up to it AQ doesn't seem overly distinct however as soon as you approach and cross the threshold you have entered their world. The decor is adamantly seasonal letting you know that it is indeed spring time. High ceilings, white walls (where there isn't brick) add a lightness and various vegetation both live and cut greet you everywhere you look. Even the bathrooms are beautiful.
The Amuse Bouche: Asparagus Milk "Cloud" with pistachio
I was glad by the time I was done that I had arrived a little early for my reservation, my meal took almost 2 hours. Sated and enthused I walked the few blocks to the Orpheum fully of food adventure excitement. The boys did not disappoint with their witty repartee. I couldn't help but tweet a few Bourdain Zingers that stood out such as "Martha- she will shank a bitch" "Cigarettes, why god made salt" and "If their are 5 things I'm proud of one of the was writing a part for Emeril on TV where he could say F@#$" and lastly that an iteration of Tuna Tartare makes him sad. Eric Ripert would like to die the death of an Ortolan Bird.... Fattened up and drowning in cognac. And he enjoys a late night snack of Chorizo.
I hope the excitement of this whole evening stays with me a long time... and that I can somehow budget another tasting dinner at AQ another season soon!