I spoke to Jo (co owner and manager) prior to the event and we decided that the smaller dining room upstairs would be the best place to have our meal. I love the big square table in the main dining room in front of the window but having Amelia (aged 2) made us think that a private room was probably the better option for this occasion and it proved to be so. Also the downstairs area ended up being booked for another larger function so it worked out well. As always Jo was a pleasure to work with and she is truly gifted as a hostess and hospitality professional.
There was a change in chef between the day of the event and the time made arrangements and new chef wasn't on board as yet so Matt Donnelly (co owner and Jo's husband and forager extraordinaire) took charge and it was a real treat. Matt also runs a land and sea foraging business known as "Mushrooms Anonymous", hence isn't always cooking at The Commoner. Hehas an interesting career finding and foraging ingredients for both The Commoner and other leading Melbourne restaurants. He is a popular and well liked individual amongst Melbourne's elite chefs and kitchens.
It was scorching Summer's day and we started off with drinks in the courtyard. Beers for the boys and strawberry based cocktails for the girls and a kiddie version for Amelia!
We enjoyed some little bites to begin with; zucchini flowers stuffed with goat's cheese and drizzled in honey made by the bees on the roof, cheese and onion croquettes which are our usual favourites.
Main course were roast baby chickens with flaked almonds and beautiful roast lamb served with potatoes and greens and roast sticky pumpkin. It was like traditional roast dinner Aussie style.
We had a long break where we drank more wine and conversed some more before dessert was brought up to us so we could feast with our eyes before it was cut up. It was a beautiful chocolate cake topped with whipped cream and berries and there were jugs of pouring cream to add even more richness. Such a welcome treat. Steve commented that although he loved it; it still wasn't quite a match for the steamed ale pudding! Nevertheless it was enjoyed by everyone.
The Commoner did us proud! Choosing a restaurant to meet everyone's tastes and expectations is a pressured decision but this one triumphed. Thank you Jo. Thank you Matt. Thank you Team Commoner!