9910 109 Street NW, Edmonton
The Common… It’s one of my favourite places to hang out with my friends after work. For a short period of time, we would frequent this place at least once a week after work. We liked the atmosphere, the service was great, and the food was pretty good too. We eventually took a hiatus for a few months though because we wanted to try and be healthier, go out less, and just be more fit in general. I’ve had the chance to try many different things on their menu, but never took pictures before, but I just went there recently last week with Jamie, so I can talk about that experience. Sorry for the poor quality of pictures, the lighting is kind of dim, and I suck at taking pictures.
I really like the atmosphere in The Common. It has two sides, one which can be booked for private events, and the other dining side that’s regularly open. They have nice decor on the inside, and the music in there is not too loud. There’s some parking in front of The Common, on 109st, but it can be really scarce. Otherwise, there’s lots of parking on the adjacent street on 110st. We were promptly seated after walking in, and we started off with a couple of drinks. Their menu changed a lot since I’ve last been, so I took some time to go through it.
I started off with a nice bottle of Crabbies Ginger beer. They have a pretty good selection of beer here, but Crabbies is my go-to beer of choice. As I’ve said before, it’s a nice and light beer. I really like the ginger flavour of this beer, and it’s a great choice to sip on a nice summer day. After looking at the menu for a little bit, we decided to start off with the antipasto. Antipasto and charcuterie boards are one of my favourite things to start my meal off with, because they are usually a little bit different at each restaurant, and they’re really fun to share and start off with.
The Antipasto came with a wide assortment of cured meats, artisan cheese, and pickled preserves, with a side of freshly baked bread. I’ve had the antipasto plate from here before, and my favourite part of this dish would definitely have to be the smoked grapes. They are absolutely amazing. They are nice and sweet, and the smokey flavour is strong and really comes out. I like the combination of the meats and the pickled onions and cheese. The blue cheese was really good, and not too strong. The pickled artichokes were also very light and tasty. Previously, they had a version of the antipasto that had pickled beets instead of the pickled onions, but I would have to say the onions are way way better. This is a nice and fun dish to share with a small group of friends. We got the small size, and it was definitely more than enough for two people! I can’t imagine what the large size would be like.
I’ve had many different things from the menu before, but I’ve never had the Duck Confit, so that’s what I opted to get. It comes with five-spiced duck, fennel, jicama, radish, orange, and frisée. To be honest, when it first came out, I was pretty underwhelmed. For a 17$ entrée salad, it was quite small. There weren’t very many pieces of duck, and of the pieces that were there, they were a little bit overcooked. I’ve eaten a lot of duck before, from many different places, and this was probably the worst that I’ve ever had, or at least the 4 pieces that I had. Additionally, I found the salad to be very oily and heavy. Definitely not what I look for in a salad. Hopefully they were just having an off day. On a lighter note, on the numerous other times that I’ve been here, I’ve gotten the chicken and waffles, the umami burger, and the osso buco from here before and these three alternatives were much much better, so I would recommend staying with these items. It was a bit disappointing because I’ve had such great meals here before.
Jamie decided to get the Chicken Meatballs, also something that we’d never gotten from here before. It comes with a maple and miso gravy, gnocchi, and peach fritters. This was also somewhat small portioned, in my opinion. There were maybe 3 pieces of gnocchi. The meatballs themselves were pretty good. The maple and miso gravy was very sweet. It went nicely with the chicken, but I found it a bit too sweet, and wish it was a bit more savoury. The gnocchi was very tender, although a bit starchy. The Peach fritter was okay. It was a little bit soggy, but it tasted fine. Also somewhat of an underwhelming dish.
Overall, this experience did not hold up to my previous experiences here. My service was pretty good still, and the staff are very friendly. I have read on some websites that the food here can be a bit hit and miss and somewhat inconsistent. It’s disappointing because I’ve had such great experiences here before. All that being said though, I would still recommend trying this place out on your own and see what you think. I’ve had really great experiences here before, and only one mediocre experience. I do have to say that I enjoy most of their appetizers. My favourite would have to be the tandoori calamari. Every time that I’ve ordered this, the calamari comes out perfectly cooked and very tender, and the sweet dipping sauce goes very well with the calamari. Give this place a try though! Hopefully you’ll go on a good night.