Chefs Jen Biesty and Tim Nugent of Mediterranean spot Shakewell crowdfunded it into being on the strength of their stints at Scala’s and Zuni, further amplified by Biesty’s multiple appearances on reality TV. Seven years on, it’s an effortlessly successful endeavor - from the humblest marinated olives to the most elaborate Moroccan-spiced paella. If COVID forced restaurants to be maximally creative, Shakewell responded admirably with to-go sangria and cocktails like a Fairlane made with habanero-infused tequila. Spanish tapas are the original small-plate experience, and now that sharing bites has come back, it’s extra-comforting to see papas bravas on the same menu with wraps and other casual dishes from the opposite side of the Mediterranean.
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Head to Dyafa in Oakland for Middle Eastern food and great cocktails. Order a lot of pita and small plates.
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