A Biff & Buffy brunch was in full force upon my arrival. Wow… If first impressions were a sure thing, I would have made a run for the hills right away. With extremely limited parking, it is pretty much valet or else… It’s complimentary, but I was hesitant as to whether I wanted to stay.
As I walked through the patio to get to the entrance, it was like slow motion because… Buffy’s hair had me locked in a trance… It was as if she had just left the Toni & Guy for old people and summoned the wind not to blow.
I finally made my way past this most important table and sat down at the bar. I am now inside… How can I stay? I felt my brand new outfit from White House Black Market just wasn’t enough. The Louis Vuitton purse my ex-boyfriend with a double life bought me, well, it simply didn’t warrant enough worthiness to stay at Mockingbird…
After meeting Rene, the kindest of all kind bartenders, I changed my mind completely. While making myself comfy in a gigantic red bar stool fit for a king, Rene came over and introduced himself.
Rene aspires to be a teacher. He has attended college, and has many talents besides being a fabulous bartender. As a high school student, Rene was offered a summer spot at the prestigious Julliard School of Music in New York City. Family priorities prevented him from going, but he never let go of his dream.
After spending the afternoon talking with Rene, I reached a new level of understanding about Mockingbird Bistro… We are all worthy.
I didn’t get to meet Owner/Executive Chef John Sheely. Sniffle. He was at the Risotto Festival the first day I came in and was out sick the second. The best news for any owner is knowing they have a credible manager representing them while they aren’t there to represent themselves.
I always try and guess within two minutes who the manager is… The hardest to guess are the managers that are painfully useless. A good manager stands out immediately. I knew right away who the manager was… His name is David, and he is a managing machine.
David is a UT graduate and was on top of things from the second I saw him. Did I mention he is Jewish? My first Jewish Manager Meeting… This is more exciting to me than Master Chef Bob & Chef de Cuisine Greg… Jewish is dreamy to me for many reasons.
After several European History classes during college, I knew this was the perfect major… My professors were mostly Jewish, and to say they had passion is truly an understatement. To sit in the classroom and listen… to learn from each Jewish professor, was an honor. Double Sniffle.
On to the décor… The bar is a new addition to the restaurant. Apparently lots of basic humans feel Mockingbird Bistro is frighteningly Biffish… ya think? The idea of the bar is to relax the atmosphere a bit.
Instead of walking in and having a supreme fine dining feel, guests feel the ease of the always successful wrap around bar. Mockingbird manages to achieve this more comfortable feeling, while still maintaining an upscale dining experience … Heart.
I decided to start with the scallop appetizer. One scallop is served with green shell mussel, white beans, tomato ragout, and andouille sausage. I asked for… no andouille sausage.
There are two sections on the bar menu that make me very happy, bar bites & bar plates. There is also a cheese, fine meats, and tartines section. Let us not forget the Kobe Beef Tongue being offered… slow braised… Holy Moly.
Tuna Nachos consist of tuna tartar, fresh avocado, ponzu sauce & wonton chips. Although this appetizer tastes great, I have to admit I am officially over tuna tartar. No way. It could come from the 1252 Tapas manager as a gift wrapped with a bow and I will forever say no thanks. I can’t do it anymore. Just sharing…
The Lobster Pot Stickers are served with ginger, fresh jalapenos & miso sauce. The small portion of lobster is tender & juicy. As always, it is refreshing to see affordable lobster on the menu.
Dessert… Warm Bittersweet Chocolate Torte served with mango sorbet… The menu states you must allow ten minutes. There is no rushing this dream come true. As I put my spoon in the chocolate it was fluffy firm with perfectly gooey warm chocolate inside. Mix it with a bite of mango sorbet and you are soon to be in dessert heaven.
Even more exciting, Mockingbird Bistro lists different recipes on their website…
WARM BITTERSWEET CHOCOLATE TORTE
7 ounces each: bittersweet chocolate and unsalted butter
1-3/4 cups powdered sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 eggs plus 4 egg yolks
Combine chocolate and butter in the top of a double boiler and melt over simmering water (do not let water touch bottom of pan). Sift sugar and flour into a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, beat eggs and egg yolk. Pour warm chocolate mixture into eggs. Fold flour mixture into egg-chocolate mixture with a spatula.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spoon mixture into 6, 4-inch aluminum tart pans lined with clear plastic wrap. (Can be refrigerated 4 hours if you would like to make ahead.) Bake 7 to 9 minutes if mixture is at room temperature, or 10 to 12 minutes if mixture is cold, until centers are quite soft. Invert each tart onto a plate and serve with vanilla sauce (crème anglaise) and raspberry sauce (puréed, sweetened raspberries). Garnish with fresh berries, if desired. Serves 6.
I decided to stop by for brunch last weekend. Rene and David were both working and made several excellent recommendations…
Impressive news to hear Mockingbird Bistro won Best Classic Caesar Salad at the 25th Annual Caesar Salad Competition. The Caesar is served with creamy parmesan dressing, sweet pepper bruchetta, and truffle potato croutons! It took me a few minutes to get over the potato croutons… Genius.
The Smoked Salmon Benedict is served with poached eggs & hollandaise on an English muffin. I am now an official fan of salmon. Some of the other items served during brunch are trout, rock shrimp ceviche, the frittata du jour, and eggs benedict.
Sit down and relax while I tell you about my dessert during brunch. Probably the best dessert on the planet… Apple bread pudding served warm with cinnamon ice cream & caramel sauce. It felt never ending. I took part of it home and ate it before going to sleep.
One thing that everyone needs to know is how incredibly nice the staff is at Mockingbird Bistro. You will want for nothing here… superior service with exceptional food.
Mockingbird Bistro might have a reputation as being stuffy, but the staff makes it impossible to feel anything but welcome. Sure, the Biff & Buffy’s will surface, but I promise you will feel right at home here. Pause…
FIVE: High 5!
FOUR: Please & Thank You
TWO: Double Wow
ONE: Wow + Ouch = Wouch