It’s hard to believe that it’s already been more than a year since The Mockingbird first opened in the same building that houses two other projects by Chef Maneet Chauhan, probably best known as a celebrity judge on television’s “Chopped” competition cooking show. Joining Chauhan Ale & Masala House and Tànsuŏ, a contemporary Chinese eatery, The Mockingbird is sort of a modern diner that specializes in international flavors presented in whimsical ways.
Run by the husband and husband team of Chef Brian Riggenbach and GM Mickey Corona who runs the back of the house, the restaurant has quickly earned a reputation as a lively and fun spot to enjoy inventive drinks and food in a stunning dining space that exudes class while maintaining a casual vibe. In honor of their one-year anniversary, Riggenbach sat down with Eater Nashville correspondent Delia Jo Ramsey for a recounting of some of their favorite events of their first year.
The restaurant crew scrambled to get open in advance of the once-in-a-lifetime eclipse event that drew thousands of visitors to town to enjoy two minutes of totality (unless they were on the wrong side of downtown that unfortunately had to put up with some passing clouds that ruined their view.) Since opening, The Mockingbird has established itself as a very popular brunch spot with lines of locals and visiting bachelorette parties alike queueing up to enjoy cheekily-named dishes like Dat Bun, Dough!, Parma Was a Rolling Scone. Taco the Town and Flock Yes.
The menu is more than just a bunch of punny plates. The food is really exceptional thanks to Riggenbach’s philosophy of incorporating global ingredients and modern techniques into classic diner fare. The menu of drinks is just as clever, with the runaway hit being The Punching Bag, a boozy seasonal fruit punch served in a plastic bag like an adult Capri Sun. Selections of interesting and affordable wines and craft beers fill out the beverage options.
Open for lunch and dinner plus brunch and late-night on weekends, The Mockingbird has become an anytime destination for Nashvillians seeking a good time and a great meal without driving all the way into downtown to fight the madding crowds. If their first year is any indication, we can expect more great things from Riggenbach and Corona along with the whole staff at The Mockingbird!
Photos: Courtesy of The Mockingbird