Shakewell, the Kickstarter-funded Oakland project from former Scala's Bistro chefs Jen Biesty and Tim Nugent, has been in the works for over a year, and it's finally nearing the finish line. The close pals, who've each appeared on Top Chef (Biesty in the fourth season, Nugent on Just Desserts) have chosen a Spanish-Mediterranean concept for the restaurant, which will be housed in the former Mezze space on Lakeshore Avenue, right near recently opened Michel Bistro.
As Inside Scoop reports, the menu will offer small bites from Biesty like green garlic baccala croquettes, boquerones, and octopus with saffron aioli, intended to be paired with cocktails from the full bar (which will have six classic and six rotating seasonal options). Larger plates will include bombas, rice dishes similar to paella with additions like clams and chorizo or chicken and prawns, as well as a few more North African-leaning flavors like grilled lamb with harissa and yogurt-cucumber sauce or grilled shrimp with a Moroccan lime rub. Biesty's a CIA grad who's cooked under Traci des Jardins and Loretta Keller, so she definitely has chops in the Mediterranean department; as an added bonus, nothing on the tentative menu is over $17.
On the sweets side, Nugent (Zuni Cafe, Perbacco) will offer twists on Spanish classics like a lemon flan, churros with bittersweet chocolate sauce, and a blackberry tart with Manchego. The 70-seat space is being designed by the Bon Vivants' Design + Build arm, and will center around a 20-seat bar, as well as Spanish and Moorish architectural influences. Wines will come from California and Spain, and brews will be sourced from locals like Almanac and Linden Street. If all goes according to plan, expect Shakewell to arrive in early July; they'll start with dinner, then add lunch and brunch in August.