SOiF materialized quietly at the end of 2019 on a somewhat unlikely stretch of Wuding Road. The tightly edited wine bar would feel at home anywhere from New York to Paris to Copenhagen. With physical travel now a distant dream, this tantalizing spiritual getaway is possibly just what I need.
This latest project by the OHA Group is one of those rare places where food, wine, and space are all entirely comfortable with one another. You can spend a whole evening wandering through Mr. Mimmo Zhou’s adventurous wine list, comprised exclusively of natural wines. The menu, on the other hand, holds our attention in an entirely different way. Mr. Blake Thornley seems to take his cues from the easygoing Italian osteria, whipping up honest, unfussy starters, gently smoky wood-fired pizzas, and some of the most engaging pastas I have encountered in Shanghai.
When we struggle to define exactly what kind of food a restaurant serves, words like “global” and “fusion” often get thrown about. The former would be accurate in the case of Bird; the latter would not. In fact, much of Bird’s draw is the free-spirited effortlessness that often makes up the line between the two.