The Other Critics

Kauffman Loves the ‘Wild, Weird Successes’ at Commonwealth; Reidinger’s Pleased With Bar Agricole

Photo: Brian Smeets/Grub Street

Jonathan Kauffman files his review of Commonwealth today, the now two-month-old, philanthropically inclined Mission restaurant from a team of former Bar Tartine and Mission Street Food folks. He writes, “The food can tilt so far into stunt cooking that it stumbles, but [chef Jason Fox] also produces complicated pleasures unlike anything else in town, and for a half to a third of the price of anything similar.” He’s a big fan of the inventive combinations, like shishito peppers with rose and goat cheese, and the “jade-hued” summer squash soup flavored with vadouvan; but he’s not a fan of the guinea hen and spot prawn dish with almond-chocolate sauce, or the vinegar foam that’s served with the potato chips. He writes, in summary, “The ratio of wild, weird successes to wild, weird failures seemed about 70:30.” [SF Weekly, Earlier slideshow]
P.S. The link for Unterman’s review finally got fixed, and she calls it “a thrillingly high experience.”

Paul Reidinger sets foot on what he calls the “rather grimy” block of 11th Street that’s now home to Bar Agricole — we would just call it trashy, what with all those nightclubs, but we digress — and he says chef Brandon Jew’s food “melodious and goes down easy.” He gives his usual four-paragraph meandering intro, and says very little about the marquis cocktails, saying he prefers just some straight, unaged Armagnac. But he enjoys the chopped liver toasts, the heirloom tomatoes with bottarga, and the pickled vegetables, and recommends avoiding the “sardine roll mops,” a dish he compares to “a dysfunctional family.” [SFBG, Unterman’s earlier take]

Kauffman Loves the ‘Wild, Weird Successes’ at Commonwealth;