Monday, September 20, 2010

Commonwealth, Mission

I wanted to try Commonwealth because I can't stop reading about it. It seems like every local food site has had some mention of it since it opened a month ago.  If you've seen any of these articles, you know that the new restaurant is the product of Jason Fox (Bar Tartine) and Anthony Myint (Mission Street Food) and that it donates $10 from every tasting menu to local charities.  We didn't order the tasting menu last night though, and instead ordered a bunch of different dishes and shared them amongst the four of us.

Instead of bread, Commonwealth serves homemade chips with vinegar foam.  I liked that it was something different, but I'm not hugely into chips so this wasn't really my thing - I would have preferred some rustic bread and butter, but that's just me. 

We ordered a few different appetizers, but I only got a picture of the soup.  This here is the "summer squash, chilled soup, fried blossoms, shaved salad, vadouvan".  I liked the soup - it was refreshing and flavorful, but I didn't like the fried blossoms as much as I did at Cafe Des Amis.  We also ordered the tomato salad (nice, ripe tomatoes with olive, cheese and basil),  shisito peppers with goat cheese and the gnocchi (with corn, maitake mushrooms, sage, parmesan and truffle oil). We all loved the gnocchi and agreed that if we were to come back we'd all want our own - no sharing this dish again. 

We also ordered the halibut, hangar steak and the young hen with spot prawns in a chocolate-almond emulsion. I really enjoyed the halibut, which had a nice coconut flavor to it, and the hen, which was really tender.  The spot prawns freaked me out a little - I don't like seeing their eyes - but once we removed their outfits (love that phrase, thanks Britt!) I felt much more comfortable. 

For dessert, we ordered the White Russian (coffee ice cream, vodka gelée, raw milk mousse,  génoise cake) and the Cinnamon Mille-Feuille (cardamom marshmallow, chocolate ganache, and burnt honey ice cream). Both of these were really different and complex, and I really liked certain flavors but not others. The vodka gelée was like a fancy vodka jello shot, and I could have done without it, but I liked the rest of the dish.  I really liked the ice cream in both desserts as well, and it seemed extra cold and creamy.

It was a good meal, with some great dishes, but I didn't leave feeling as excited as I felt leaving Frances, for example. 

As a side note, here's a little behind-the-scenes shot from our dinner -  it was really dark in there, but thanks to some strategically placed candles (and some brightening in Photoshop) I was able to salvage a few photos.

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