Shakewell Kitchen & Bar on Lakeshore Avenue is one of the hottest new restaurants that have recently opened in Oakland. It gets a lot of buzz because the owners are famous for being competitors on cooking shows. The Executive Chef, Jen Biesty was on Top Chef Season 4 and the Pastry Chef/General Manager, Tim Nugent, was on Top Chef: Just Desserts. It’s pretty cool that these two partners were funded by the community using the fundraising website kickstarter.com.
Shakewell serves dinner and weekend brunch with a Mediterranean twist. After a leisurely walk around the lake today, my friend and I stopped by for brunch. We bypassed waiting for the hostess since there was open space at the bar. I love eating at the bar whether drinking is involved or not. I “checked in” using the yelp app which entitled me to a free pastry. The choices were coffee cake, danish, or financiers.
The financiers were a little on the dry side. It did come with a dab of kadota fig preserves. I think I would’ve been better off with the coffee cake as it seemed to be popular. We got this free so I really can’t complain. At least we ordered cafe lattes to go with our pastries.
With a little help from our bartender we decided on sharing two dishes. The first was the tortilla espanola, which is a Spanish style quiche made of a mixture of egg and sliced potatoes. Shakewell’s version was cooked in duck fat and topped with crispy duck and an aioli sauce. I love potatoes, duck, and fat so I really enjoyed this. The layering reminded me of scalloped potatoes.
Our second dish was the “skakshuka” or Moroccan baked eggs with roasted peppers, chick peas, feta cheese, and herbs. This came with toast to help soak up the yumminess of the eggs. Based on the complex flavors of this dish, I would give it a slight edge over the first one.
Brunch today was a tease. I definitely want to try more on my next visit to Shakewell, after all their menu offers food meant to be shared. Chefs Jen and Tim were both there today. Jen came out to greet friends and Tim was around and about with a friendly smile on his face.