Do you remember eating at P712 with me? Wasn't it lovely? Shouldn't we go back again soon?
My friends Noelle and Janet invited me to lunch at Communal, in the old Goldsmith's building in downtown Provo. I yanked a few pictures of what we ate from Lindsey:
Poached tuna with frisee and olive tapenade, served with heirloom tomato bread pudding
Butterscotch Pot de Creme and cookies
Yes, it was all delicious, better than it looks, which, I know, hardly seems possible. I adored the sea scallops with tomato relish, and the roasted squash with apples and thyme the very best. The service? I stepped away from the table to answer a call and when I got back, the crumpled napkin I'd left had been replaced by a clean, folded one set neatly at my plate. So unobtrusive I almost didn't notice it. I dared the girl sitting next to me to run to the bathroom and see if her napkin wasn't replaced, too. I walked away from the table just for kicks and got another fresh napkin. NEW GAME!
I completely geeked out, and after feeling up the concrete countertops polished with beeswax, I asked Soelberg and McRae how Alice Waters has influenced them. Why? Because all those long months ago, when I first stepped foot inside P712, I saw an Alice Waters quote on the wall, and I knew I'd found my local culinary mecca.
Colton and Joseph (may I call them by their first names? I forgot to ask,) understand Waters' primary directive: when you pick the freshest ingredients, as close to where they grew as possible, in the right season, and cook them with respect, it yields extraordinary food.
I decided to ask which cookbooks Colt and Joe (more familiar as this post rambles!) love in case I could suck in my breath, push up my glasses, pull a Mary Catherine Gallagher, and say "Me too, me too, me too."
The Chez Panisse books - Alice Waters (duh)
Zuni Cafe - Judy Rogers
Sunday Suppers at Luques - Suzanne Goin
The French Laundry, Bouchon, and Under Pressure - Thomas Keller
Au Pied de Cochon - Martin Picard
Il Viaggio di Vetri - Mark Vetri
Think Like a Chef and The Craft of Cooking - Tom Colicchio
You big time foodie geeks just found soulmates, didn't you? Me too, me too, me too. For the rest of you, let me translate: Communal knows what they're doing. Why "Communal"? Because it's supposed to be like Sunday dinner: sharing a table, being with cherished ones, and communing over bread made with love.
Thanks, C & J.
Want to go? I asked, and Communal would love to have you. $40 gift certificate goes to one commenter who leaves me a note on this post with their favorite cookbook before Friday, October 16th expires.
If you win, can I go too? We can make a reservation, sit in the private dining room, and I can tell you stories that are too inappropriate to blog about in public. I'll pay for myself, swear.