By Joey Amato
Mikey Corona and Brian Riggenbach are the power couple behind one of the Gulch’s hottest restaurants, The Mockingbird, and a partner in Chaatable, a new Indian concept helmed by celebrity chef Maneet Chauhan (of Chauhan Ale & Masala House). The couple opened The Mockingbird in August 2017 and since then it has become a favorite among the LGBT+ community in Nashville.
Although I have dined at The Mockingbird in the past, I decided to visit again on a cold Monday evening in January to sample a few of their favorite dishes. The menu consists of a variety of small and large plates inspired by Yo Soy, the supper club Corona and Riggenbach used to operate in Chicago. The restaurant offers guests southern classics prepared with a global twist.
The first dish to arrive at the table was a small plate called Cabbage Patch Kids – fried Brussels sprouts topped with a white balsamic gastrique and blueberry jam. Everybody knows I’m addicted to Brussels sprouts and this dish was everything I expected. The blueberry jam gave the dish a surprising, yet welcoming sweetness.
Next up was Don’t Worry, Brie Happy. This is The Mockingbird’s take on grilled cheese made with whipped brie, jalapeño jam and chimichurri. Both my guest and I agreed that although we liked this dish, the bread was masking the flavor of the brie and thought thinner slices of bread may bring the cheese and jam to the forefront.
One dish that I was a bit hesitant to try was the Belly of the Feast. I didn’t think I was a big fan of pork belly, but this dish turned out to be my favorite item on the menu. It is prepared with an Italian Calabrian chili glaze, confit shallot, grits and hazelnut. This dish was complimented nicely with the delicate flavor of Sea Señor, a huge bowl of steamed mussels served in a fennel-onion cream with Korean chili threads and Spanish chorizo.
The restaurant’s take of southern comfort food really comes into play with Hey Dumplin’, a delicious dish of ricotta gnocchi paired with braised pork shank served in a tomato stew with butter beans and spinach. I wasn’t sure if the star of the dish was supposed to be the gnocchi or the pork, but either way, both shined. This dish is incredible, and I would definitely order this on my next visit.
What meal would be complete without some savory desserts? We decided to sample Let’s Get Kooky – a delicious chocolate chip cookie served with vanilla ice cream, Pie O’Day and Piece of Cake. The Pie O’Day on the day we visited was banana cream and my personal favorite was the cake of the day, Piece of Cake, which was a delectable carrot cake topped with a coffee cake-style butter crumble and was the perfect way to end a fabulous meal.
If you haven’t had a chance to visit The Mockingbird, please do so, whether for dinner or Sunday Brunch.
121 12th Ave. N.