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Monday, August 9, 2010

100 Reasons To Celebrate A New Mission Destination

Last night I got to visit some old friends at the new Commonwealth restaurant located on Mission Street.  I was with Jake for their soft opening and it was fantastic.  First of all, the room is elegant and comfortable.  I had been to the space for a beer tasting not too long ago, when it was still under construction and I amazed at the results.  But let's get to the menu, shall we?

Jake and I were hungry and certainly left satisfied.  We were sipping on some white wine and ordering like Mad Men.  The first dish to arrive were the Shishito peppers with goat cheese and rose petals.  A perfect combination of flavor and spice.  The goat cheese balanced it out well.  We shared the summer squash, which was a chilled soup with fried squash blossoms, shaved salad and Vadouven.  I may not know what that all means but it certainly tasted good.  The blossoms were the stars of the dish, but everything that accompanied deserves Best Supporting Nods too.

Moving on to those garden tomatoes and basil.  Man, that was incredible!  Just think about this for a minute. Black olive crumble! Smoked bread! And that Idiazabal cheese took the cake.  Very in season and very addicting.  But the dish of the night had to be the potato gnocchi.  Everyone was talking about it too.  It had corn, it had Maitake mushrooms.  But the truffle oil and the sage with the Parmesan Reggiano made it heavenly.  That gnocchi was so smooth and delicious, I could have walked into the kitchen and stolen another helping if I wasn't so bashful.

We had to order the brown butter poached skate wing with cauliflower, Dashi and sea beans.  Also in season right now and done with real thought, precision and class.  This dish exploded with yummyness.  I was reminded of Le Jules Verne in Paris with the foam on the plate.  I love foam!  I also loved loved loved the guinea hen and spot prawn. Three words, chocolate-almond emulsion.  I was onto a great glass of red wine at this point.

There was a salt cured Foie Gras on the Chef's Tasting Menu that we had to try.  We boldly asked for it and truly were glad.  It had Umeboshi and a seaweed brioche to spread it on.  We each had our own plate to avoid confrontation.  Mine disappeared too quickly.  Very impressive.

When it came time for dessert we ordered the White Russian.  This epic combo of coffee ice cream, Vodka Gelee, raw milk mousse and Genoise cake.  And we can't forget the Cinnamon Mille-Feuille with cardamom marshmallow, chocolate ganache and burnt honey ice cream.  It reminded me of the ultimate broken down smore. 

My curiosity about the narwhal was killing me from the dinner menu.  They mentioned nitrogen and that was it.  I needed to try this floc de gascogne, sake, ambrosia melon and shiso.  It was tremendous and worked as a last course.  The familiar faces and the ease of the night were very noteworthy, especially for a soft opening.  They had everything under a meticulous control and made it look easy.  I was so proud to be among the first to experience this place.

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