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Jul 26, 2012 06:25 PM

Dinner at Commis, 22 July 2012

OK, so I love this restaurant. I've been back several times, but not since I returned from Portugal and Spain. Thought I'd write up my most recent visit, on Sunday, July 22nd.

Since I last reviewed Commis, Chef/Owner James Syhabout has changed the way they do things. Most importantly, you no longer receive a menu until AFTER dinner -- Chef wants you to eat without expectations, but with an open eye and an open mind. So, after checking for any potential food allergies, the meal is ON!

(FWIW, there were five of us for dinner.)

Needless to say, there is one menu, and it's pre-fixe. $75 for the menu for what turns out to be an eight-course dinner, with an extra $45 if you choose the beverage pairing. Now, after a career in the wine trade, I passed on the pairings in favor of selecting my own. But it's a bit difficult when you have no idea what's coming . . . so I picked two bottles, and asked the maître d' which he thought would work best.

We began with a 2011 Txakoli Getaria. Sorry, I don't remember the producer, but it was delicious, delightful, and de-lovely.

First, we started with a pacific oyster in vinegar jelly, turnip, and fresh horseradish -- a perfect bite. Truly. This was followed with a soup of young potimarron, seck ham cream, with peach and marigold.

We moved onto a wonderful bottle of 2010 Godello from Bodegas Valdesil -- they produce more than one, and I don't remember which one this was -- as we moved into the next three courses . . .

How many times can one say "perfect" in a single review? Well, "phase two" began with a ring of albacore tuna with lemon and nepitella, nori seaweed with squash seeds. Truly outstanding.

Next came the signature poached farm egg yolk with alliums, smoked dates, and malt -- the dish that is solely responsible for my wife's desire to get a sous vide cooker for our kitchen. In a word, YUM . . . .

And then, roasted squid is a padron pepper vinaigrette, chickpeas and leeks -- stunning, and very reminiscent in quality of the squid we enjoyed in northern Portugal!

Moving onto reds, we enjoyed an amazing 2001 Viña Todonia (Rioja) from R. Lopez de Heredia, and paired this with a grilled beef loin with cracked green faro and buttermilk, with marrow juices that was -- in a word -- "perfect," once again.

For dessert? Blackberry sponge cake and oats, with a thyme ice cream and milk jam.

A phenomenal meal, and one that we enjoyed much more than our meal at Mugaritz! ;^)

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  1. went there last night for the first time. sat at the counter in front of the kitchen - saw them prepare my meal with such intricate care that i felt kind of weird eating it. came in at 6 and there were only a handful of diners....the place eventually filled up by 8.

    i had the same exact meal you had, but only chose a glass of light red wine, which i essentially saved for the beef loin. all courses of the meal were phenomenal, but my favs were the albacore tuna - the nori seaweed paired with the tuna was fantastic - the potimarron soup was deliciously paired with peach and the roasted squid - the roasted leeks really made that dish.

    1. I had this same menu a couple weeks ago at my first visit to Commis. I had the wine pairings, too, and they were all interesting and good matches (and generous pours...I've heard others say they thought Commis' pours were short, but mine were anything but...I wound up sharing with my date who wasn't originally planning to have wine, because otherwise I would have been under the table :)

      I especially liked a 2009 Keuntz-Bas Sylvaner that was nothing special on its own but perfect with the flavors of the soup, and then there was a Hexamer kabinett riesling that I really loved (both on its own merits and as paired with the insanely good egg thing).

      Seriously, I would eat that egg thing every day and not get tired of it. So, so, so yummy!

      I love this restaurant!