[Photo: Shana E./Yelp]
Uptown Oakland has a new addition to the bustling block surrounding the New Parish: Mockingbird, a restaurant helmed by William Johnson and Melissa Axelrod. The pair are veterans of the San Francisco restaurant scene, with Johnson bringing experience from stints at Zuni, Spruce, RN74 and Alembic, and Axelrod from Delfina, Fringale and Ottimista. Now, they've opened their own place, with a strong focus on locally-sourced, rustic food with modern cooking influences.
The menu is very seasonal and will change daily, but their sample dinner menu gives an idea of what they're aiming for. Johnson says that Mockingbird won't have one set chef, but rather several chefs working together by committee. Asian, Mediterranean, French, and Southern influences will all be fair game for the restaurant, which isn't interested in being pigeonholed into one genre. All Mockingbird's seafood is sourced from Water to Table and their meat comes from Biagio Artisan Meats. They're also be serving bread from local favorite Firebrand Artisan Breads.
The space shares a courtyard with the New Parish, and they plan to eventually offer food service for hungry concertgoers from their back window. For now, the restaurant seats 41 in a triangular dining room that's almost Zuni-ish in shape. The space is designed to be clean, open and comfortable, and Johnson's love of jazz records will also come into play, music-wise.
Mockingbird will offer beer and wines sourced from East Bay wineries. They'll soon offer breakfast, lunch and weekend brunch service, too. Dinner service runs Tuesday through Saturday, 5:30-10pm.