Restaurant Review: Comune
Unlike “commune” or “community,” new restaurant Comune has only one “m.” It’s the same sort of theme, but spellcheck loves it less. Regardless, the idea of sharing is central to the establishment: it’s mentioned no less than eight times in the restaurant’s online mission statement. That’s good news for people who actually like to share food with other people.
But the prospect is somewhat frightening for those who find sharing un-fun. And noting that, upon entrance, the hosts seem to be doing a lot of hugging of the guests — that’s a bit nerve-racking too.
So, for starters, let’s say this: you can dine at Comune without sharing with anyone, or hugging anyone. There are some items that are probably best for shareables, but that’s normal in any restaurant. Comune wants to share good food with guests, that’s it.
Located in the zone of shiny new developments near Children’s on Parsons, Comune is all sleek lines, air plants, and funky electronic music. There’s a bar at the front and big windows to the outside world.
The menu is plant-based, and as such features a lot of combinations that are somewhat less common on the local dining scene. By “plant-based,” we don’t mean veggie-burgers, we mean. . .well, you’ll see.
So, noshers: you’ll probably want to share the Bread and Spread ($13). Well, maybe you won’t want to share it, but you probably should share it, because the giant pita upon which it’s built is large and floppy. That bread is described as a house-made pita, but the terminology doesn’t do it justice, because pita is more typically on the bland side. At Comune, it’s more like house-made naan, with a little seared, savory flavor added. It’s hard to want to pollute the pita with condiments, but three come alongside in an array of flavors and colors. One’s a normal hummus, then there’s a delightfully smoky black-bean spread, and a mahogany-hued option with the flavor of apple butter in a thicker medium.
Less sharable is the Coconut Squash Soup ($6). It’s beautifully presented and perfectly accented with curry, giving it extra aromatic accents as well as extra depth.
At lunch, sandwiches are featured. The description of the Roasted Root Sandwich ($14) does not disclose what kinds of roots are involved. Honestly, when it arrives, it’s still hard to tell. As served, wispy folds of magenta that peek out beneath grilled sourdough suggest perhaps cabbage leaves? Cabbage is not a root: the folds are beets, cut impossibly thin — so thin they fold like deli meat. They’re teamed with alfalfa sprouts, slim-sliced pickles, a good dose of local cloverton cheese and an amped-up mayo sauce for extra heft. Who knew this could be a thing? The combo is likable, even for those who think they don’t like beets or sprouts.
You can score the House Fries with a sandwich (or order them solo). They are super-stubby and savory and all the things lovable about fries, just in a fancier package.
For a more traditional vegetable experience, there is an Autumn Salad ($14). While pricey, it feels special enough with its mix of dewy greens and micro-greens, and radish and ricotta. It feels more like a treasure bowl, which is an accomplishment for salad.
The bar has been acclaimed for its interesting cocktails that feature elements such as matcha-infused gin, dandelion green bourbon, and roasted carrot rum. Outside the specialties, the bar is fully equipped with a rotating selection of beer and wine.
Parking can be a little tricky, as the primary options are densely populated residential streets, but it’s worth the hunt for a spot. You can find Comune at 677 Parsons Ave.
For more information, visit comune-restaurant.com.