Opening nights for restaurants are replete with the see-and-be-seen crowd, curious onlookers who want to be part of the first buzz about a new place, shapers of the "Was it good? Did it suck? Pan or Rave?"conversation. Opening night at The Common Table on June 2 gave these same folks plenty to talk about--what with its new digs in the same Uptown shadows as the once revered and now-laid-to-rest Lola.
Valet's scurried to park the myriad cars as the toney crowd filtered into Dallas' newest addition into the gastro-pub lineup. Much munching on crispy duck and crab fritters, and ordering of high-end beers ensued. As far as opening nights go, things went fairly smoothly, the only chink in the armor was the few menu items that sold out.
Restaurant collaborators Brian Twomey (of Loft 610) and Corey Pond conceived The Common Table 12 months ago, insisting on quality fare paired with affordable wines and craft beer. "After visiting some of my favorite pubs in London, Los Angeles and Portland, I knew that Dallas needed a gastro-pub that is unpretentious," Pond said. Common Table wasn't designed as an exclusive club but rather as its name suggests, an affordable everyman's eatery that includes small plates to share and main dishes to pair.
I've been several times since, and culinary standouts include wild mushroom bruschetta, pulled-pork spring rolls and their foray into the high-end burger market, the Camburger--which is laden with ample slices of Camembert and cooked to a perfect medium on a fresh grilled Kaiser roll.
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The Common Table's answer to a chicken fried steak starts with a pounded rib-eye and is finished with a roasted garlic cheddar mashed potato and a home-style cream gravy. Each dish on the menu is listed with a suggested wine or craft beer paired by their in-house beer expert and cicerone, Jeffrey Fryman. His expertise is certified, and has more than dabbled as a home brewer. There are complimentary tastings of their more exotic offerings. But if Bud Light is your choice of brew, that can happen too. Remember, this is a pub for everyone.
Jasin Burt, formerly of Nick and Sam's and AM/PM, has detailed a witty cocktail list named after special people and events that share The Common Table's opening date. Consider the Iron Horse: a cocktail consisting of Hendricks, St. Germaine, peeled cucumber, torn basil, simple syrup and a lemon squeeze. Delicious and named after Lou Gehrig. June 2 (1925) was the date he replaced Wally Pipp as first baseman for the Yankees.
Place The Common Table high on your "Gotta Try It" list--assuming you're not one of those opening night people who have already tried it. The gastro-pub is open daily from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Lunch service begins June 28.
The Common Table
2917 Fairmount, Dallas