Catherine and I ate at Commis last night. What took me so long to get there?! I’ve been piecing together my review for hours, trying to find words to convey the experience. As always, there are others whose descriptions I cannot better. This bit, from SF Weekly’s Jonathan Kauffman’s review of the restaurant, uses yet another art form to create his metaphor:
“Musicians know that a note is not just a note. The fundamental note they play is bolstered by dozens of other tones that thrum above and below it — octaves, fourths, major thirds — in realms we can’t quite consciously detect. Just listen to the ringing chords of a piano with the sustain pedal held down: The strings seem to multiply as the harmonics quiver into hearing, auditory ghosts manifesting through some rift in space.
James Syhabout, chef of Commis in Oakland, is preternaturally attuned to the harmonics of flavor. He seems to build each dish by tracing all of the fourths and thirds that vibrate around an ingredient, then amplifying those flavors with other ingredients so the rest of us can catch the harmonics, too.”