Pretty much the main reason I never went to Commonwealth was its proximity to my previous job. Like who wants to go near their work on their days off, am I right?! Commonwealth describes their cuisine as progressive American and I’d have to agree with that. Their style of food isn’t for everyone-intriguing and unusual flavor combinations with an artistic touch. However for someone like me, I enjoy eating food that is creative and out of the ordinary. They offer a six course tasting menu or an à la carte menu. We opted for the à la carte menu and since their portions are small, the waitress suggested that each person orders three dishes.
We started off with a complimentary snack, the homemade potato chips dusted in seaweed. The seaweed flavoring gave the potato chips a salty umami flavor which paired brilliantly with the tangy malt vinegar foam dip.
The artichoke brioche toast had all the flavors that I adore: rich buttery brioche, mild flavored artichokes, earthy fragrant black truffle, bitter sharp lemon, and nutty Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, all topped with aromatic herbs.
The scallop crudo was the weakest dish of the meal. While I liked the concept of the dish, the pomegranate molasses and beet ponzu completely overpowered the delicate sweetness of the scallops. However, I loved the puffed wild rice which added a nuttiness and a great textural component.
The smoked mussels were perfectly cooked, tender and plump, served with a luscious broccoli cream topped with sweet hazelnuts and pungent horseradish cream.
One of my favorite dishes of the meal was the sea urchin, sweet potato, and pork fat dumplings, sounds like a strange combination right? Well, it worked! These pillowy dumplings reminded me of gnocchi made from sweet potato and pork fat topped with creamy sweet sea urchin and garnished with tart kumquat and crunchy quinoa.
The tender juicy pork cheeks were packed with flavor served with crisp raw apples as well as fermented apples, nutty acorn polenta, a meaty salty Jamón Serrano chip, and sweet crunchy almond granola. It was defintely an unique blend of flavors and ingredients but it was tasty.
The last savory course, the sablefish, was another creative dish. The sablefish had moist meat with crunchy skin served with salt roasted rutabaga, various fresh herbs, coconut air, and a shrimp broth.
Their signature dessert was so yummy. A super rich creamy chocolate ganache served with airy pieces of beer meringue, brûléed marshmallow, salty pretzel crumble, and creamy refreshing crème fraîche ice cream. Delicious.
The other dessert was a nice contrast from the rich chocolate dessert. The cake was airy and moist served with burnt cinnamon ice cream (the cinnamon flavor could have been more prevalent), tangy lemon curd, pieces of lemon thyme shortbread, and compressed asian pear.
The meal ended with complimentary petit fours which were decent but nothing memorable.
Not only is Commonwealth not targeted for most people (in terms of flavors and creativity), it’s also not the restaurant if you’re trying to get hella big portions. But with that being said, I really enjoyed my dining experience there. I left feeling satisfied but not stuffed and I got to try some really cool and unique dishes. Overall, I liked the majority of the dishes and commend the chefs for pushing the envelope when it comes to experimenting with different flavors and ingredients so my rating is a 8/10.