Communal = To Commune with Food Deity
Having happily eaten at Pizzeria 712 in Orem on numerous occasions, I was excited to hear that the creators, Chefs Colton Soelberg and Joseph McRae, had another new restaurant in the works, this time in downtown Provo. While the name is a bit odd, the food is anything but.
We were started off with a complimentary and quite delicious bread basket with fresh creamy butter (best butter I’ve tasted) to tide us over as we studied the menu, which turned out to be chock full of tasty culinary dilemmas.
With a diverse menu composed of delicious comfort foods such as Tomato Bread Pudding and Braised Bacon with a Roasted Apple Sauce, there is surely something to please the most discerning food lover. The menu is broken down into categories such as To Start, Greens, Meat, Starches, Vegetables, and Sweets. Simply mix and match to your stomach’s content.
Our server recommended that we order at least one meat and one starch or veggie per person, and I would say that it was a fair recommendation. I personally felt that the portion sizes were a bit small, so you might want to share an appetizer or dessert as well to round things out.
For the meat selections, we started with the Grilled Flatiron Steak, with Gremolata Butter ($15). The flatiron steak was perfectly cooked, and quite tender, but the gremolata butter lent too bitter a taste to the steak, and would have been better absent or with a bit of citrus to balance the bitterness (we topped it with some lemon juice, which helped).
We also had the Pot Roast with Pan Jus ($15), which was hands down the tastiest pot roast any of us had ever had. It was wonderfully tender, and served in a cool little crock pot dish. I can’t think of a better dish to excite the taste buds and evoke childhood memories, especially on a chilly day.
For our starch we had the Potato Leek Gratin ($5), which was also one of the best potato dishes I’ve tasted. The flavor profile was perfectly balanced, not too much cheese, not too much leek, plenty of potato.
We had the Roasted Squash with Apples and Thyme ($5) as our veggie, and we weren’t disappointed. This was, to me, a very creative combination, and the flavors were delicious. Not too much sweet, not too much acid, just a rich and succulent flavor. It was the first dish of the night to completely disappear.
We polished everything off with a dessert, Peach Pandowdy with Vanilla Ice Cream ($8). Pandowdy can be tricky to get just right, but Communal’s pandowdy was absolutely wonderful and fluffy. It was served with blackberries, which added just a bit of tartness to balance out the sweet.
While it is on the expensive side, it’s a wonderful spot for a date or other special occasion. All in all, this was a wonderful dining experience, and we will certainly be visiting again.
Located at 100 North University Ave. in Provo, attached to the South side of Goldsmith’s, Communal might just be the hottest new restaurant in Utah Valley. They are open Tuesday through Saturday, from 5pm to 10pm. Seating is limited, and reservations are highly recommended.
Pricing – Moderate to Expensive, $25-$30+ pp with Tax and Gratuity
Rating – 4.0 out of 5
by Sam McRoberts