The Commoner Bar Room
The Commoner Bar Room is the sister location of the Roncesvalles restaurant, The Commoner.
This dimly-lit version in Little Italy is meant to be more of an evening outing destination than the Roncy version, which leans more toward a family-friendly vibe.
The Bar Room definitely feels more suitable for pre-party starters and group dinners.
It's less craft beer heavy here, too. While the other location has 32 taps, Commoner Bar Room has eight, with the focus resting more on a menu of crafted cocktails to go with the leathery, nostalgic feel.
Head to the back for the open back patio, complete with a little herb patch with mint and basil.
A tuna tostada ($13) comes with ahi tuna, smashed avocado, and a mix of apple, jalapeno, pico de gallo. It's sprinkled with feta cheese and topped with sour cream.
The buffalo cauliflower ($12) are heavily saucy tempura-battered bites with blue cheese and scallions.
Crab cakes ($12) come served on a cast iron pan. Garlic aioli is the dipping sauce for these panko-covered bites with jalapeno, corn and red pepper.
For groups anywhere between two to four people, the Commoner Board ($54) is a hefty serving of several entrees for picking at.
It's a weighty portion with caesar salad with radish, fried capers, and bacon. There are sides of refried black beans and traditional coleslaw, house fries and a rack of back ribs in a sweet house BBQ sauce.
Buttermilk-brined fried chicken comes with cajun honey. It's a nice pairing with the jalapeno cornbread. Braised beef sliders are slow-cooked for five to six hours.
Aside from classic cocktails like an Old Fashioned or Manhattan, a favourite is the Botanical Spritz ($13) with Ketel One Botanical, elderflower, bitters, cava and grapefruit.
The Fennel Sour ($14) uses unfiltered gin, Chartreuse, fennel stalk, sage, wormwood bitters and lemon.