Dinner here was simply marvellous: it is perhaps among the best meals I've ever had in San Francisco. The restaurant is only five days old, yet it already seems to be hitting its stride as its kitchen sends out confident, innovative, yet reasonably priced masterpieces.
After meekly asking the hostess this Friday night if there might be a table available for two without a reservation, she promptly and generously seated us at the bar. Unlike many other restaurants that feature bar seating, the countertops at Commonwealth are wide and comfortable -- there was to be no awkward contortions to get at our food. The bar stools are also quite pleasant to sit in.
The menu is small, but very creative. The food is clearly based on New American classics, but showcases a heavy dose of molecular gastronomy and Japanese ingredients. After ordering a starter of the tomato salad, we were given Commonwealth's equivalent of the bread course: house made potato chips with seaweed flakes. Neither salty nor heavy, these were the perfect palate warmer without sitting too heavily in my stomach.
The tomato salad was genius. Full of heirloom tomatoes, five different kinds of basil, black olive crumble, smoked bread, some sea salt, and a deliciously light and creamy Idiazabal cheese, all of the flavours came together to produce a near orgasmic bite. The salad was also served on a piece of slate, which added a very unique visual dynamic to the food.
We both ordered the guinea hen with spot prawn as our main dish. Featuring spinach, artichoke, and a chocolate-amond emulsion, it was spot-on, delicious, and hearty. Plus, unlike many high-end restaurants here in San Francisco, the portion was actually hearty!
Dessert was out of this world. A cinnamon mille-feuille with a fresh, homemade cardamon marshmallow and burnt honey ice cream. The combination of the slight chewiness of the marshmallow with the savouriness of the ice cream was positively orgasmic! And, as a bonus, our bar seats had a great view of the kitchen, and we could watch the sous-chef preparing the marshmallow.
I cannot recommend Commonwealth strongly enough. Run, do not walk, over to Mission Street now!
2224 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110