By Courtney Buell
Photography by Cody Buell
From the masterminds that brought us Pizzeria 712 comes Provo’s newest fine-dining experience: Communal. Featuring simple food served in a rustic-modern style, Communal reminds you of eating a comforting meal at your grandma’s house … if your grandma is a classically-trained chef with an uncanny eye for elegant, modern decor.
Our meal began with a sampler of cured meat from Caputos accompanied with house-made olive and walnut bread, eggplant “caviar” (our favorite), onion caramelized in reduced balsamic vinegar and pickled onions. Everything tasted lovely on its own, but we had fun combining the different flavors on the plate.
We know we need to eat more vegetables, and the Jacob’s Cove heirloom tomato salad brought us one joyous step closer to our five-a-day. Almost brazen in its simplicity, the salad is made of tomatoes, cucumbers and very thinly sliced onion dressed with olive oil, salt and pepper, and just a splash of red wine vinegar that makes these tomatoes shine.
For the main event, try the pot roast: delivered to your table in an adorable little cast iron pot, still sizzling from the oven and covered in a rich sauce that’s full of intense beef flavor. Another stellar option is the sous-vide chicken, which, once you’ve had it, may ruin you for every other chicken preparation. It’s slow poached in a vacuum bag to trap the flavor and maximize tenderness, (sounds wrong but tastes so right) and finished in a skillet for added crisp.
Sides come a la carte and we recommend the potato leek gratin. Cracking through the shell of parmesan cheese to a creamy dish of perfect potatoes is an experience that alone would have made the trip for us. These are the potatoes you wish your grandma made. And trust us, for dessert you want the butterscotch pot de creme—easily one of the best custards we’ve ever had. The texture is velvety and the flavor buttery and beyond indulgent.
Next time you’re feeling the need for a fine dining excursion—and maybe a little homesick for your imaginary grandma’s Sunday dinner—head to Communal for a chic dose of comfort.
100 N. University Avenue
Open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday, 5 – 10 p.m. and lunch Tuesday through Friday, 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.