Commoner & Co. – A fine little neighborhood spot

To celebrate my upcoming book, The Lost Restaurants of Tucson, Karyn Zoldan, Edie Jarolim and I went to Commoner & Co for Happy Hour last night. We were also celebrating the progress  of Edie’s forthcoming book, Getting Naked for Money. And I guess, celebrating good friend such as these.

Commoner & Co. is owned by Nathan Ares,  a most charming mas with a passion for what he is doing. We got to talk with him about the food and the future plans he has for the company.

Ares also owns Prep & Pastry, one of my favorite places in town. He’s very busy with a second P&P on Grant Road.

Cocktails are Commoner, but I’m most impressed by the amount of wines they have by the glass, many of which are found on tap. It’s a trendy idea that works.

But we came for the food. Ginny Wooters is the Executive Chef and her food can best be described as American with a creative Southern twist. I’ve loved everything of hers that I’ve tasted,

We ordered the mussels, tried green tomatoes, a goat cheese tart, sweet potato chips and green beans with pork belly..

The green beans and pork belly were perfectly cooked. There was still a bit of snap to the beans and the pork belly was crispy, but not overly so. commoner beans

The chips also were done well.Simply seasoned with truffled salt and cracked black pepper, there sweetness shone.

The tart, although tiny for the three of us, was smooth and tangy and complemented by a sweet,strawberry jam. I could’ve easily ordered another one all for myself.commoner tart

The tomatoes were decent. Topped with prosciutto and ricotta they were Italy meets the Deep South.We all thought they might’ve benefited by being sliced a thinner, but still we ate them all up.commonertomatoes

And finally the mussels. They’d been steamed in a coconut Thai curry sauce that was so good that once the mussels were gone we slurped it yup with a spoon. The chips and the fries and the bread all tasted great after a trip through the sauce, too. This dish, in spite of being a starter would make a great entree.

commoner mussels

Commoner & Co. is fast becoming one of my fave places in town. I think I’ll go there for my birthday.