Whiskey. We love the spirit (or at least the drinking half of MFP does). So imagine the excitement when we caught wind of Commonwealth, a Miami Beach whiskey bar and restaurant that has taken over the old Automatic Slim’s location.
This excitement increased exponentially when we found out who was leading the kitchen: Daniel Roy, who served as sous chef at Matador Room and worked with Top Chef Jeremy Ford. Chef Roy has crafted a delectable menu with deep smokey flavors, which pairs wonderfully with the extensive selection of whiskey on hand. Emphasis on extensive: There’s over 100 whiskeys to choose from. In other words, you’re going to need an Uber.
Before digging into Chef Roy’s contemporary American cuisine, we suggest you order a Strawberry Feelings. It’s basically an old fashioned with a strawberry reduction. Despite the description, it’s not as sweet as you’d think; the strawberry is subtle and adds a slight twist to the age-old drink that’s pleasing to the palate. We could easily — and happily — down three or four of these.
For starters, go with the Street Corn and Duck Fat Fries. The spicy mayo, cotija cheese, lime zest and cilantro of the corn all combined to blow our minds bite after bite. The manageable, individually sized portions were a welcome sight, considering this delicious dish can get a bit messy. The duck fries are nice and crispy, and they come with a garlic confit aioli that help create another satisfying nibble. A bigger party should take advantage of the monstrous Charcuterie Board, whose smoked meats, artisan cheeses, seasonal fruit and honeycomb were highlights of the night.
Pasta wouldn’t normally be our first choice at a place like this, but it would be a mistake not to order the Pappardelle. The plate can stand on its own with just 24-month Parmesan and toasted ciabatta, but if you’re hungry hungry, you can add pork, chicken or shrimp at an additional cost. What would be our first choice here? The namesake burger.
The Commonwealth Burger is big. Scratch that — it’s huge. It has triple smoked bacon and a farm egg inside the bun, for Christ’s sake. If you plan ordering it, skip everything we just mentioned. But if you do end up getting it, you can expect a phenomenal burger. Just get some whiskey to help cut all the bacon, and you’ll sleep good tonight.
Still have room for dessert? Keep it light-ish with some of Sweet Melody’s Craft Ice Cream. Our two scoops of ice cream — strawberry cheesecake and bourbon pecan — did a great job of balancing out all the savory fare we had. If you haven’t tried Sweet Melody before, you’re missing out.
Although Commonwealth first caught our attention with their whiskey selection, all we can think about now is the food. Chef Roy and his team have created something special here, and we’re grateful to have experienced it. Now it’s your turn.