clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Former Sway Chef Wants to Open an Austin Restaurant Focusing on Regenerative Farming

Mockingbird Restaurant will serve dishes like bison picadillo and wood-fired sourdough

A bowl of cubed pink meat with a white sauce and green herbs.
A dish from Mockingbird Restaurant.
Mockingbird Restaurant
Erin Russell is associate editor of Eater Austin, a native Austinite, and a big fan of carbs.

A new restaurant focused on regenerative agriculture is coming to Austin. Mockingbird Restaurant is currently hosting pop-ups to raise money in hopes of opening the restaurant soon.

Mockingbird comes from chef Charles Schlienger, who was previously executive chef of North Italia in the Domain and executive chef and culinary director for the Sway group of restaurants. Mockingbird will be a tasting menu restaurant with dishes like bison picadillo with an acorn empanada, Texas olives, and lard; wood-fired sourdough, and coal-fired beef shoulder with guajillo pepper, bitter greens, and onion and serrano pickles.

The kitchen will use wood-burning hearth for many dishes both to impart flavors and as a nod to traditional cooking methods. Schlienger wants to open in East Austin.

Schlienger’s mission is to use ingredients from farms with an emphasis on regenerative agriculture, which aims to improve the health of the land, like Peaceful Pork in Beeville, Texas and 5 Dutch Ranch in Liberty Hill. His daughter Evelyn was born with a condition that could make her have an allergic response to almost anything. In the process of finding ingredients that she wouldn’t have a reaction to, her parents discovered regenerative agriculture.

Schlienger also plans to operate sustainably as a business, using practices like composting, low use of plastics, and someday opening a farm to sustain the restaurant.

Mockingbird Restaurant will host a series of pop-ups to fund and promote the restaurant. The first will be a first-come, first-served dinner at Bar Peached on Monday, November 27 from 6 to 11 p.m. It will also be crowdfunding through its sister company, Sovereign Farms, which is a membership-based farm share program.