Restaurant review: The Commoner

With an elegant space and relaxed atmosphere, the Commoner delivers a dose of high-end pub fare to Roncesvalles Village.

What’s the vibe

Imagine a classic gritty sports pub where locals gather to kick back and unwind after a long day, rowdily cheer on their favourite sports team or just enjoy a delicious meal. Now, take away the grit, the must and the stench of spilled beer and replace it with an immaculate, clean, airy space – and you’ve got the Commoner.

The restobar-meets-sports pub maintains an unpretentious and laidback atmosphere while offering high-end pub fare and plenty of beer to choose from, all in a stunning setting. Lined with fine touches from the leather trimmings on the sleek, marble bar to the crisp crown moulding on the ceiling, everything here is about the little details. Even the menus are made with care, using the same leather as the chairs for a unifying aesthetic.

What to drink

Beer is the name of the game at the Commoner. The resto-pub has a whopping 28 taps – and room for two more. Three different keg fridges allow for each brew to be kept at the perfect temperature. Lagers and pilsners are served at 3°C; sours, ales and IPAs are served at 5°C; and stouts are served at 8°C. The impressive collection features a great number of local craft beers from brewing companies like Muddy York, Great Lakes, Henderson, Left Field, Burdock, Rainhard and Junction Craft Brewing. Several cider options are also available on tap.

While the cocktail list might pale in comparison to the exciting beer lineup, the crafty concoctions are still worth ordering. If you like your drinks on the sweeter side, try our favourite – the Honey Smash. This sugary tipple mixes vodka, strawberries, mint and honey for a fresh and fruity flavour.

What to eat

The Commoner’s chef Matthew Cowie has hit a home run with his first experience creating his own menu. With a strong background cooking in corporate kitchens, Cowie has clearly brought all of his knowledge and experience to the table. The menu of Canadian cuisine features a lineup of items made almost entirely in-house with a focus on fresh and local ingredients.

Dry aged onsite for a minimum of 30 days and then seared at 1800 degrees, the local Ontario steak is melt-in-your-mouth tender. With a generous side of duck fat fries and street corn, the steak arrives looking more like a platter. Another not to be missed menu item is the short rib sliders – the meat is braised for eight hours in a finger-licking house-made barbecue sauce.

Dinner and drinks for two: about $75

2067 Dundas St. W, 647-351-2067,