Best Bar to Drink in the Seasons - 2012
AQ Restaurant & Bar
The East Coast may have the benefit of snow in winter and colorful foliage in fall, but in the Bay Area, it?s rarely apparent what season we?re in. To the rescue comes AQ Restaurant & Bar. Seemingly overnight, the décor, tabletops, bar, lighting, and staff uniforms change from one season to the next. The bar that gleamed with copper in the fall evolved to white marble in the winter, and has changed to wood in time for spring. Barmen Tim Zohn and Ethan Terry?s winter menu included classics with seasonal twists like an old fashioned ($10) with customs bitters intense with warming cinnamon, a Manhattan ($10) with pumpkin seed-infused bourbon, and a wonderfully cozy sazerac ($10) made with date-infused rye whiskey. We loved the incredibly popular Mexican piano ($10, Espolon Blanco tequila, lime, huckleberry syrup, tarragon, bay leaf) not only for its vibrant and herbaceous flavor, but also the elegant atmosphere the blow-torching of bay leaves created, simultaneously warming and evocative of an ancient ritual. With spring in full swing, look for blossoms and berries to start sprouting in the drink menu.