Like works of art on a plate canvas – a lava cake with rock salted caramel, a crme brle sprinkled with Pop Rocks candy and a candied pear with lemongrass panna cotta.
Since moving from 124th Street to a twice-the-size spot just north of the High Level Bridge, The Common has a decidedly new, upscale feel. Rock stars and movie stars, their black-and-white photos in showy frames, match the monochromatic, sleek gastropub.
But, maybe we should write “gastropub” with a capital G, because chef Jesse Morrison-Gauthier – who joined the Common a month before the move – has elevated pub favourites to a fine-dining level.For a business lunch, he really ups the ante.
As a pub, it features an unsurprising but comprehensive beer list and a small but solid selection of wines and cocktails; but when it comes towhat’s leaving Morrison-Gauthier’s kitchen, it’s hard to think of another local pub or bar that does better.
The umami burger sees steak cut into a square patty to match the shape of focaccia bread and made all the more decadent with truffle oil. Theprawns are served with a spicy sriracha mayo, on top of fresh house-made cornbread. And, the lamb hot dog is wonderfully earthy, freshened byan apple-mint slaw that substitutes for relish.
Matching the interior, the desserts are like works of art. A flourless chocolate molten cake sits on a stripe of rock-salted caramel. Crme brle isinfused with lavender and, just to make you feel like a five-year-old, covered with Pop Rocks candy.
But if I had to pick just one (and, really, youshouldn’t have to; go with a group and try them all), it’s the delicate lemongrass panna cotta, served in a Mason jar with a roast pear. Cut a candy-like sticky piece of the fruit, swirl it in the cool cream, and you have a decadent end to a fine meal.
And, even though the Common transforms into acrowded nightclub on weekend nights, the kitchen remains open till 11 p.m., so you can dig in while grooving to mod classics or electronic beats. (9910 109 St., 780-452-7333, thecommon.ca)