Mago - Oakland - Mark Lieberman (of AQ)

Former Cybelle’s space on Piedmont. “… if all goes well, the restaurant may open as soon as winter 2019.”

From an email I got on Wednesday:

… we are almost done with construction and we have begun the cleaning process and final touches. Plateware and glassware have arrived, shipment of almond wood came in today and the music system is all ready to go! We’re all very excited with the progress each day! Thanks to everyone who has emailed in with interest on our opening - we’ll confirm an opening date as soon as possible, but we are shooting for next week.

This article says Tuesday.

Finally got to Mago last night. Definitely reminiscent of AQ, especially in its early days.

I got a bottle of the Mencia. Lighter than most, went with everything.

Cucumbers were a nice, light starter. Sauce was very spicy.

Ratatouille toast was very good. Soft whole-wheat? bread I presume was house-made.

Brodo was fantastic, deep, rich flavor. Looks creamy but that was just some foam on top, it was more like a consomme. I skipped the truffle supplement since I don’t much care for raw black truffles.

Charred cabbage was very nice with the anchovy & tahini dressing you can’t see in this photo.

That was really enough food but I love rabbit and rarely see it on menus. Very good though the caramel was a little sweet for my taste (generally not a fan of anything sweet with meat). There was shiso among the greens, that was brilliant. Took maybe half home.

House “Chartreuse” and amaro were nice. I ordered them but they comped me. Amaro was very nice.

Great meal and very friendly staff. I’ll be back for sure.

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This downloaded menu wasn’t exactly the same as what we got.

Delicious Cab Franc.

Had the ratatouille toast again. It’s some sort of house-made squash bread that’s somehow very light. Impressive given that they have only a wood oven.

Also had the truffle & mushroom brodo again. Insanely good. Worth a special visit just for that dish.

I was imagining figs wrapped with bacon and grilled, but the bacon was just a hint in the sauce. Couldn’t really taste the lychee in the goat cheese, either.

Beans with chanterelles & ham, excellent.

Chicken was good but seemed like they took off most of the skin, which is the best part. Grilled Tokyo turnips were really nice.

Didn’t get a photo of the cheese plate. Nice cheeses and housemade crackers (again impressive given the wood oven).

Nice crisp funnel cake with toasted rice ice cream. Couldn’t really taste the whiskey but the dish didn’t need it.

That was a good amount of food for two hungry people, no leftovers. Once again excellent and friendly service. Great addition to the local scene.