Oakland’s Piedmont Avenue Welcomes Micro-Season-Inspired MagoAuthor:Michelle Konstantinovsky
Northern California natives (or anyone who’s spent more than a year around these parts) know that our little corner of the country doesn’t have four seasons — it has dozens. Former AQ chef Mark Liberman certainly knows that reality, which is why his debut solo restaurant, Mago, pays homage to NorCal’s 52 distinct micro-seasons with a weekly changing menu. Located on Oakland’s adorable Piedmont Avenue, Mago is a casual dining spot that draws inspiration from the Parisian movement with an emphasis on affordability, simplicity, and technique-driven cooking methods.
Mago’s dishes display a wide range of influences and pay tribute to the chef’s traditional training and rich cultural heritage. The restaurant’s open kitchen is designed around a custom wood-burning grill, and the cooks themselves present orders to patrons.
Liberman collaborated with AQ alum like Robert Hacfor the dessert menu and bar director Adam Chapman created the ever-evolving cocktail menu. Guests can expect beverage ingredients to include house-made or hyper-locally sourced juices, bitters, and oils, while AQ alumna Allegra Angeleno’s wine program places an emphasis on small, responsible producers working with sustainable methods.
Mago’s design, a collaboration between Liberman and architect Wylie Price, is cozy and minimalist with a modern feel. The light grey walls are accented by pops of purple on the bar and counter, while cherrywood floors and oversized charcoal tile in the kitchen round out the aesthetic. Lush hanging plants and a mural by local artist, Amanda Lynn, complete the dining room. The majority of seating is at the counter, situated around the central hearth and open kitchen.
Oakland resident Liberman has big plans in store for the space as well. He’ll eventually offer cooking classes for all levels, and his wife, Theresa, will oversee the cheese purchasing as well as teach a cheese class for both children and adults. Additionally, the garden plots on the back patio will provide fresh herbs for the kitchen and a dedicated plot will serve as a place for preschoolers and kindergarteners to explore gardening and healthy food.
Mago is located at 3762 Piedmont Ave., Oakland, California 94611. The restaurant is open Monday – Saturday, 5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
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