Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Please excuse the craptastic photos - Commis' signless storefront intimidated me enough to not bring my camera, though it didn't stop me from snapping a few with my phone.

I had read a lot about this restaurant since its anticipated opening, followed by Michael Bauer's griping review and others mixed. I am not one to ever take him seriously, so I was still curious and decided to go a few weekends ago. Despite its lack of any signage and overall pretentious aura from the outside, I found the ambiance to be comfortable and not sterile at all, the service warm and friendly, and the food subtle and unexpected.

To address a few of MB's complaints - Yes, it was strange that the utensils were placed upside-down, but after asking the hostess she explained that it was really just the design, and if they were placed right-side-up they would rock back and forth. Odd choice, but really a minor detail. The walls were bare, yes, but there were so many live plants and other decor that I didn't feel like I was in a lab at all.

Let's get to the food. Their signature amuse (poached egg yolk surrounded by onion cream) was quite unctuous - fatty, rich, and delicious. I wasn't a fan of everything we had (broccoli soup tasted like strong ginger to me), but one app was a revelation - crispy sweetbreads with cereal grain and fowl juices (think savory oatmeal). The cod entree felt like Asian comfort food with its clear broth, turnips, and cabbage. The food was surprisingly accessible and familiar, yet still refined in technique.

The third course, however, was a bit underwhelming. Presented with 3 options (fruit, chocolate, cheese), we went with the goat cheese panna cotta with beet-blood orange sorbet, blood orange segments, beet foam, and candied pistachios. The pistachios had the perfect texture, but something went awry with the panna cotta which seemed to have tiny air bubbles and seemed to foam in the mouth. Instead of the chocolate, I thought the cheese course sounded interesting, but while the menu said "warmed," I was not expecting melted cheese on puff pastry! The lavender onion marmalade accompaniment was interesting, but it was really a waste of a dish.

While not every dish was stellar, there were definitely a few winners that made the meal satisfying. The wine pairing was also spot-on, and our servers were extremely knowledgeable in each bottle's story. I don't know if I would go back since it was over $100 per person, but I'm glad I tried it.

1 comment:

Cookie said...

I've heard about this place and definitely wanna check it out. I guess with wine pairings $100 a pop isn't so bad!