The current layout of Mezzé. Photo via Yelp by david d.
A sample Shakewell dish: albondigas in sofrito and aged sherry wine. Photo courtesy of Jen Biesty.
After a successful Kickstarter and fundraising, chef Jen Biesty and pastry chef Tim Nugent are ready to announce the location of their upcoming ~SHAKEWELL BAR & KITCHEN~ project: it will be opening in the Mezzé space on Lakeshore in Oakland. The casual restaurant will be a spacious one, with 80 seats (there will be 16 at the curved bar, plus more bar-like seating in the window, and 58 seats in the dining areas). Bon Vivants Design (Trick Dog) is designing the space, which will feature Douglas fir flooring, polished concrete, and they are looking at stone-topped tables of travertine (these are a maybe). When you walk into the space, there will be a raised level that’s one step up with two communal tables, which will have a lively vibe. There will be a more intimate dining area, plus a chef’s table and banquette in the back. Overall, it will feel airy and open (there are already high ceilings and skylights), and they are revamping the wood-burning oven—it will have more of a Moroccan look.
The menu (here’s a sample of what Biesty has been cooking lately at private events) will be Mediterranean in spirit, spanning the Iberian Peninsula, with seasonal and local ingredients (think albondigas, Monterey sardine toast, and calamari with spiced ceci beans, tomato, and preserved lemon)—they’re calling it “Americlectic.” There will also be a paella that serves two that will be coming out of the wood oven, plus a flatbread that will change often (Biesty’s working on a chickpea flour dough at the moment). Dishes will be affordable, and the dining experience is meant to be shared and fun—they want it to be the kind of place you can swing by often. There will also be a full bar and wine on tap. The plan is to start construction on December 1st, and they’re targeting a March 2014 opening. 3407 Lakeshore Ave. at Trestle Glen.