Introducing: Aft Kitchen and Bar, a new barbecue joint in Riverside
Name: Aft Kitchen and Bar
Contact info: 686 Queen St. East, 647-346-1541, aftbar.com, @aft_bar
Owner: Paul Campbell, formerly of House on Parliament
Chefs: Christian Butcher and sous chef Lawrence La Pianta
The food: American comfort food with an emphasis on southern barbecue, which La Pianta spent two years learning in Texas (everything is smoked on-site). Daily specials include smoked burgers ($13) and wings ($14) on Monday, buttermilk fried chicken ($17) on Wednesday and Texas barbecue on the weekends.
The drinks: Craft beer ($6.95) on tap, along with a large selection of bourbon and whiskey. Campbell plans to introduce classic cocktails like Manhattans, whiskey sours and mint juleps soon.
The place: Aft took over its tiny space from the short-lived Toucan Taco Bar, and outfitted it with plenty of wood, including a long sugar maple bar top with a live edge and shelving reclaimed from a church organ in The Beach. A backyard patio should open by mid-May, doubling the capacity of the restaurant.
By the numbers:
• 800 square feet
• 27, the number of seats inside (the patio will add another 30)
• 16–20, the numbers of hours of smoke the brisket receives (wings get about 1.5, and ribs, 8–16)
• $5–$20, the menu’s price range (from marinated olives to sous-vide steak frites)