Young and Hungry

CommonWealth Casts an Eye to the Continent

left_cw_info.jpgWith this week's opening of Masa 14, the Latin-Asian fusion restaurant owned jointly by Richard Sandoval and Kaz Okochi, Y&H naturally turned his attention to CommonWealth.

Why? Because neither Okochi (Kaz Sushi Bistro) nor Sandoval (Zengo and too many other places to name) are handling the daily kitchen chores at Masa. They've left that to former CommonWealth chef de cuisine, Antonio Burrell.

So where does that leave CommonWealth, Jamie Leeds'Columbia Heights gastropub that was a top 50 performer in this year's Young & Hungry Dining Guide? It leaves the place looking toward Europe.

Leeds and her new chef de cuisine, Abigail Fellows, the former executive sous at CommonWealth, have revamped the menu, adding more sandwiches and salads and even a turkey burger. They've cooked up an "Uncommon" burger, too, which is a lamb patty served with mint relish. Other items that you might see, either on the menu or the specials list, include duck confit risotto, kabocha squash ravioli, and chicken and dumplings.

"We lightened it up a lot," Leeds tells Y&H.

I asked Leeds if this signaled a shift away from the gastropub concept, with its emphasis on chef-driven takes of classic British dishes. Sort of, the owner says.

"We're changing to just slightly more traditional European [food]," Leeds says. "Just because I think it's more accessible to people."

Looks like Y&H needs to check out this makeover soon.

Photo courtesy of CommonWealth

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