COMMON SPACE

>> Saturday, December 18, 2010

COMMON SPACE
70-15 Austin Street
Forest Hills, NY 11375
(718) 263-2130


Common Space is one of the newest restaurants to open in the area and is trying to tap a market that few have bothered: the young and trendy. The interior itself is very nice, with stools for chairs, exposed brick, industrial lighting, a small clipboard menu, and a huge garage door/window that opens in warm weather. Add the rear patio to the mix and this is one of the few places with any serious outdoor space in the zip code. The music is pop and rap, which you'll either be totally into or seriously hate. I wasn't a big fan, but they played some seriously shitty rap with some seriously foul language and my guess is that this ain't the neighborhood for it. If Common Space wants my advice, they should stick with R&B and jazz.



Bro and I arrived on a recent, bitter cold day. I suppose it shouldn't have been much of a surprise that the place were deserted and the wait staff looked like they were dying of boredom. It was a bigger surprise when, about an hour into our meal, a group arrived from the Xhale hookah bar next door, hookah pipe in tow and sat down, puffing away(?!?).

Common Space calls itself a lounge, but it's not really loungey. It's a restaurant with loud music and Latin food. They have a fully stocked bar, and, if my $4 cola was any indication, it makes most of its money on the liquor. Bro and I had pre-partied elsewhere, so we didn't drink.



For our appetizers, Bro ordered the Bravas, fried casavas with a spicy cheese dipping sauce. They were good. A little overcooked, but good. I ordered the Tres Quesos Mac & Cheese, crispy-topped bow-tie pasta in a cheese sauce made from manchego, monterrey jack and mahon cheese. It was decent, didn't cost too much, and it was a good size. The biggest problem we encountered with our appetizers was with the poor timing. They took a solid twenty minutes plus to arrive and they arrived only about five minutes before our entrees.

The entrees were likewise not bad. Bro ordered the Lomo Saltiado, sauteed beef with onion, red pepper and cilantro, served on a bed of french fries and with a side of white rice. The beef was tender and tangy and moist, not tough, though being served over fries felt cheap. Not that this was an expensive dish to begin with ($13). I ordered the Chicharron de Pollo, a spicy crispy chicken dish with a side of red onions, lime-cilantro rice and a spicy cilantro dipping sauce. This wasn't a dish for the faint of tongue. Every part of it had some kick. But again, it was good (and cheap).




So. My verdict. It was good. Not amazing, but terrible playlist aside and the guys who were allowed to smoke their hookah aside, I liked it. I want to return when it's warmer for the rear patio for sure. The food was well priced and tasty (if not terribly unique), the service was friendly (though missing most of the time) and the decor was spot on what I've been hoping would open up around here. Do I want a place like Williamsburg's Rye or Park Slope's Rose Water, but this is a good start. Now I can just cross my fingers for a wine bar and an underground cocktail lounge.

Two appetizers, two entrees, two sodas, tax and tip came to about $53.

4 comments:

CattyinQueens,  January 18, 2011 at 9:50 AM  

I'm late to this post, but I went there and had pretty much the same thoughts. Cheap and not bad, a decent new addition for the nabe.

The best thing is that it has a back patio area, which you may not have seen if you went outside of summer. We actually really liked being out there and it *almost* felt like a place in BK. It's pretty much the only place I've seen in Fo-Hi with outdoor seating that didn't seem tacky (I mean, I like some of the places on 70th okay, but looking at Blockbuster pretty much ruins things).

Jon Parker January 18, 2011 at 1:10 PM  

The old Metro Cafe on Metropolitan Ave had a nice outdoor space. Hopefully something nice will open there in time for the summer. Also, how great would it be if the roofs of sone of these 1 story shops could support people and tables. Like on top of A&J pizza.

Anonymous,  June 11, 2011 at 3:30 PM  

The space is cute but the service is horrid. The female bartender is just plain rude. 12 bucks for a drink made wrong in a plastic cup and then insulted when its mentioned. Music is too loud and staff is just too rude

karen albert,  February 20, 2012 at 3:13 PM  

Just a small thing - I have been to Peru several times and Lomo Saltado is always served mixed with french fries and rice. Important to have most carbs on one plate!

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