Currently, Edmonton is having its 10th annual Downtown Dining Week from March 15- 24, 2013. For 10 days of the year, approximately 30 of Edmonton's most interesting Downtown restaurants open their doors to customers for a multi-course meal at a fixed price. Two course lunches are priced at $15 (if you are interested in what the lunch menu has to offer, see the bottom of this blog) and three course dinners at $25 or $50.
It was clear upon entering the Common that this was the place to be. The decor was very modern and vintage. As the night progressed, the crowd began to fill with hipsters and young people. The music playing was mostly indie (fitting for a place like this).
|Prawns with gnocci|
For the main course, the choices were Cod Wellington or Veal a la Danoise. The Cod Wellington was prepared in a very similar fashion to beef Wellington and consisted of a fillet of cod wrapped in a light, French pastry. Although both the cod and the pastry were well cooked, I felt overall it lacked any seasoning and was a bit bland. The Cod Wellington was accompanied by raisins, cauliflower, capers, and toasted almonds. I actually enjoyed the sides much more than the main itself: the cauliflower and toasted almond mix actually was a nice combination and had an aromatic, earthy, and nutty taste. The raisins were definitely the highlight of the accompaniment and added delightful, sweet accents to the dish. Unfortunately, the capers - which are a favourite of mine in Italian cuisine - were a little lost in the dish.
|Veal a la Danoise|
For dessert, there was only one choice, "a take it or leave it" kind of situation. The meal ended with a chocolate sformato, a less airy type of flourless souflee. The sformato was accompanied by a pistachio sauce and topped with a dollop of floral whipped cream. It sort of reminded me of a uncooked brownie mix. The cake was dense and very moist, but had a strong chocolate flavor. All of us at the table were disappointed with how the meal finished as we were unimpressed with dessert.
Service at The Common was above average. The servers were very friendly and nice. However, we did notice that it did take a while from the time we ordered till the time we got our meal. Time between each course was about 30-40 mins. It was a good thing that we were all just having a good time conversing and not looking at the clock. At the end of the night, we were pleasantly surprised when the waitress apologized for the long wait and stated that she would give us a discount (of 20%) for the inconvenience.
If you are interested in trying the Common or many of the Downtown Dining restaurants, click here for all the listings and prices.