commonwealth photo by adam rothbarth

First Look: Commonwealth inside the Angad Arts Hotel in Grand Center Arts District

“We’re trying to have as much fun as possible,” said executive chef Scottie Corrigan about his new menu at Commonwealth (634 N. Grand Blvd.), which opened today, Wednesday, Oct. 6. “There will be some classic dishes, but we have full culinary freedom.” When asked about the concept, which reads complex on paper, Corrigan has a refreshingly short description: “It’s modern European.”  


With dishes like tandoori duck, roasted chicken breast, mushroom “scallops” and tikka masala, Corrigan and his team aim to bring something new to the Angad Arts Hotel and the surrounding Grand Center Arts District neighborhood. “The most important thing is giving you an experience that you aren’t going to get anywhere else, both in service and food,” Corrigan explained. “It’s a destination spot.” Resting in the previous Grand Tavern space, at the base of the hotel, directly between the Fox Theatre, Powell Hall and Jazz St. Louis, Commonwealth is equally convenient for cultural nights out, hotel patrons and locals looking for a unique meal.  


According to Corrigan, the space basically sat dormant since the closing of Grand Tavern last year, and it took a long time to clean. But he said it was worth it: “I inherited a beautiful kitchen out of the deal,” he said. New shelves and bricks line the walls; artworks hang above the tables. The large side room will be used for overflow seating and events.  


Starters include dishes like curried mussels, foie gras, Camembert brie and confit duck ragout; “Beginnings” include a couple salads as well as a Hungarian peach soup and a creamed beetroot soup. Mains include tikka masala, rack of lamb, cast iron scallops and veal ballotine. “I hate shrimp, but our prawn and endive dish … I will smash it,” laughed sous chef Sierra Eaves. “This has changed my understanding of what shrimp can be.” 


The bar program features about eight signature cocktails, which include new spins on classics and totally original creations; the New World Fashion updates the Old-Fashioned by adding Peachtree liqueur, ginger beer and Grand Marnier, while the Black Gimlet has black lime-infused Bulldog 1 London Dry Gin, lime juice, infused simple syrup and black lime. A few imported beers are available alongside around five wines, which will range from West Coast to New Zealand. 


Check out the slideshow below for more information about Commonwealth’s hours, dishes and cocktails.