TBD Restaurant, From The Team Behind AQ Restaurant, Opens this Fall in SF

The emerging Mid-Market neighborhood of San Francisco welcomes the opening of TBD Restaurant this fall at 1077 Mission Street, just two doors east of sister restaurant, AQ. Chef Mark Liberman, current executive chef at AQ, is the driving force behind the culinary program, where a Grillworks® grill and custom-built hearth are the exclusive means of cooking. The Northern California-inspired menu pushes the limits of cooking with fire, emphasizing open-fired, grilled, smoked, rotisserie, and hearth-baked vegetable and meat preparations. TBD also features a selection of bar snacks and desserts focusing on soft-serve ice cream, a favorite of Chef Mark. The beverage program includes more than 20 beers on tap, a global-inspired wine list, and an extensive sherry selection, as well as low-alcohol cocktails.

“The city of San Francisco and specifically this neighborhood really embraced AQ when we opened in 2011,” AQ and TBD Owner Matt Semmelhack says. “We are excited to introduce a new dining destination and a casual, yet elevated concept to this block of Mission Street, adding to the changing landscape of this community.”

The 50-seat restaurant is composed of two- and four-seat tables along the main floor and mezzanine, a communal table, bar seats, and kitchen counter seats—all featuring views of the open kitchen, wood-fire grill and customized hearth. A lounge space in the front of the restaurant creates the perfect setting for a glass of wine or snack while an open bar area on the opposite side allows for standing room to mingle over happy hour. Semmelhack’s vision for the space brings together wood, steel, clean lines and camping gear including fire-engine red Dietz Lanterns, retro plaid thermoses, cast-iron cooking vessels, and vintage ice chests. TBD also brings a bit of the outdoors in, with furniture made from raw wood and whole tree parts, as well as hunting paraphernalia including antlers and various types of taxidermy. “Since the menu focuses on primal means of cooking, we wanted the interior to bring together some of the elements we associate with camping and outdoor sport, creating a sense of gathering and community in a place that is both warm and sophisticated,” says Semmelhack.

TBD opens this fall with a full dinner menu, adding lunch as well as midday snacks and a late-night menu in the future. The dinner menu, priced and arranged in categories, features “Raw” dishes such as Escarole heart, grape and tarragon with aged goat cheddar ($12), Artichoke and Dungeness Crab with spiced rhubarb and sea urchin ($6) from the “Grill + Plancha” section, a selection of “Smoked” dishes including Fluke Crudo with sunchokes and buttermilk ($18), and a Rustic Duck Cassoulet ($12) from chef’s “On the Hearth” section. The menu also features dishes meant for sharing including theTableside Carne Crudo with capers and raw farm egg for two ($18) and the Live Shrimp for two ($24). The appropriately classified “Sweet” section offers a different flavor of soft-serve ice cream weekly and warm, homey desserts such as S’mores with housemade marshmallows for two ($12) and a Dutch Oven Cake with cinnamon and apples ($6).

Semmelhack has assembled a group of food and beverage professionals to develop the TBD concept including members from the award-winning team at AQ. Kristen Capella, beverage director for both restaurants, curates a list of food-friendly, distinctive wines from around the globe with a focus on Rhône varietals. The resulting list of 50+ wines, many from smaller and progressive winemakers, includes 10 to 15 by the glass or half bottle. Bar Manager Tim Zohn spearheads the extensive beer program, featuring a wide range from cans of PBR to specialty Belgian ales; low-alcohol cocktails called suppressors; and housemade sodas. The two beverage professionals collaborate on a specialized sherry program, one of the largest in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Alex Phaneuf, a standout sous chef from AQ’s kitchen, will be Chef Mark’s right-hand man at TBD, contributing heavily to menu creation and development.

For more information on TBD Restaurant and updates on the opening date, please visit the restaurant’s Facebook page.