August 15, 2019

“Make your interests gradually wider and more impersonal, until bit by bit the walls of the ego recede, and your life becomes increasingly merged in the universal life.” — How to Grow Old (essay) by Bertrand Russell

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As I’m briefly home from a retreat in New Mexico, then on again to explore food and drink in Toronto and surrounding Ontario countryside this week, I’m riding this SF heatwave and full moon with stunning nights atop Twin Peaks gazing over my city, outdoor meals and drinks on our front stoop.

I wanted to take a moment to tribute one of my all-time favorite restaurants closing August 26th (so there is a little more time for one last visit, Bay Area folk!)

Since 2010, Commonwealth has been one of my all-time favorite restaurants in SF — and the country. Service & the wine list have long kept it “whole package,” but all centered around Chef Jason Fox’s creative vision on a plate. His dishes have specific “voice,” not copying others but blazing a fresh path, like his reconstituted squid or scallops into noodle or “pasta” form. It all tastes amazing, too.

I’m sad after 9 years to see this treasure close and recall many articles over the years, including making it my top openings of the year when I was SF Bay Guardian critic or talking about it at Eater as one of my best meals of 2013.

Commonwealth’s fantastic young hen with summer squash, baby corn, kefir, huitlacoche, black garlic, basil, purslane

Here’s hoping chef Fox will return soon with his unique culinary voice… his regular tasting menu donations raised hundreds of thousands for local nonprofits like San Francisco-Marin Food Bank.


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