As a cash-strapped student, I have to get creative with my nights out on the town. And as a self-declared old soul, 9 times out of 10 I’d rather treat myself to a good meal and some nice wine than go out to a club. So for the 10% of the time I am convinced to go out, The Common is a no-brainer. It’s a perfectly executed hybrid of restaurant and night club, somewhere I can get my foodie fix and have a dance party without leaving the building.
Going to The Common for lunch, dinner, or a late snack, you can enjoy the eatery side of the restaurant/club. Upon entering, the space itself has a decidedly funky, yet sleek atmosphere, accomplished through the retro-mod decor, vintage portraits and stacked vinyl. The bright area is separated into three sections, accommodating the bar, dining, and lounge areas. It’s small enough to feel exclusive and personal, yet assures you won’t have other guests breathing down your neck. The down-to-earth vibes are amplified by the friendly servers, who always seem happy to recommend a dish or two.
The menu itself is brand new, boasting a large variety of selections. The dishes, creations of Executive Chef Jesse Morrison-Gauthier, are innovative, inventive, and (most importantly) delicious. The plates are reasonably priced, impeccably presented, and sure to please.
Before deciding on a dish, take a look at the drink list. A varied and thoughtful selection of cocktails, beer, and wine accompany the menu to get the party started. Try one of their craft brews, or go for a unique bottled selection. Crabbie’s Ginger Beer ($8.50) was a particularly popular pick, chosen for it’s specific taste and relative rarity. Not a beer fan? Neither am I. There is still plenty to choose from, including 4 house reds or whites (offered by the glass) and an assortment of cocktails. Try the Blackberry Cinnamon Mojito ($6.50) for something uncommon.
Known for their gastropub style, trying any of their shareable plates is essential. The Tandoori Spiced Calamari ($12.00) was a personal favourite, creating an unexpected burst of far-east flavour that worked well on the squid. The tamarind aioli and blood orange certainly helped drive this dish home. For something a big more substantial, the Chicken and Waffles ($17.00) is a must-try. Sweet and savoury are beautifully melded in this dish, via distinct flavours in the bacon-flecked waffle and blackberries. A hint of heat from the chile and richness from the maple syrup bring it all together. The Confit Duck ($16.00) is another favourite. Retaining its necessary fattiness, the duck takes on flavours from both French and Eastern cuisine to create a plump, well-spiced confit.
Regardless of what brings you to The Common, it’s a guaranteed good time. Perfect for a dinner-date or a night out, its versatility works flawlessly. Try the food, try the drinks, experience the genuinely fun, hip atmosphere. Students, you now have no excuse to drink on an empty stomach – come to The Common for the eats, stay all night for the beats.