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Illuminated Hams, Tons of Sherry at Mockingbird Hill

[Photos: Jamie Liu/]

Mockingbird Hill, a project from husband and wife Derek Brown and Chantal Tseng, will open this Friday. The bar, the first of three Derek Brown projects slated for 7th Street, is focused on sherry and ham.

At present, the bar stocks 54 different sherries carefully selected by Tseng. With each sherry will come a complimentary and complementary snack — lupini beans, olives, chocolate or nuts. Or opt for one of four sherry cocktails, including the raisin-y PX Sweet Tea. For non-sherry drinkers, there is a selection of spirits or local beer as well as a Green Hat gin & tonic served on tap.

To complement the drinks there are four local "hams" - Edwards & Sons "surryano" (Virginia), Woodlands Pork "Mountain ham" (West Virginia), Red Apron Butchery's lomo, and Cure DC duck prosciutto as well as a Spanish serrano from Fermin. Customers can also order a variety of Spanish-influenced small plates, including white anchovies, smoked trout, pan con tomate, and manchego.

The setup is not unlike those of many tapas bars. It features a long seated bar, and a rail along the wall for standing partons to place their drinks and small plates. But the piece de resistance is the illuminated carving station in the rear where a ham leg basks in the spotlight. The station also serves as a gateway between the main bar and the back room bar. The back room will serve as a location for ham and sherry tasting classes and talks, as well as private parties. A small garage door style barrier can be pulled down between the two sections for a more intimate atmosphere.
—Jamie Liu