Shakewell is a new restaurant on Lakeshore in Oakland; it's in the space that once was Mezze. We had dinner there last night, and even though it's only been open for a week, we found it to be operating smoothly; service was friendly and efficient. The food is described as Mediterranean with influences of Spain and North Africa; and it was terrific.
Our server explained that the dishes are meant to share, and suggested three to five dishes, depending on what we ordered. We selected three, and were happy, well-fed, and had a little room to share a dessert.
What we ordered:
1) sausage wrapped in sage leaves, then fried. [six on the plate, each the approximate size of a dolma] Very flavorful. Loved 'em.
2) a warm salad of grilled romaine hearts, served with thin slices of manchego cheese, boquerones, pickled onions, and avocado. [The avocado was good, but I thought unnecessary in the dish]. In any event, it was a very interesting combination of flavors and textures, and another hit.
3) Bomba of calamari nero. Bomba is a paella-like dish cooked in the wood-fired oven. An ample serving for two, very flavorful with bits of diced fennel and preserved lemon cooked into the rice.
4) We shared a dessert of Greek yoghurt with dulce de leche and a thick slice of ripe peach. Our server brought me a taste of sherry that was a nice compliment to the dessert.
The place has a full bar; but we skipped cocktails and ordered a bottle of Portuguese wine recommended to us. I can't find my note on the name, but it was a medium-bodied red (13% abv) that went well with everything.
The new owners have done a nice job remodeling the space. It is more open, and better organized IMHO, than Mezze. Ambient noise is still an issue; however I noticed that the areas near the bar, and where we were seated were more tolerable. So, the noise might be more of a problem near the entrance.
I definitely recommend the place. It should do well serving the Lakeshore, Trestle Glen, Piedmont area, and also as a destination. It's going into rotation, and we'll be back.
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