Community is a brand new plant-based restaurant located on Kerr Street in Oakville. Opening this Thursday, Community features a small yet diverse menu covering a wide range of flavours and textures. I had the amazing opportunity to visit and enjoy their food as part of their soft opening, and I am thrilled to share about my experience with you!
To begin, how would I know about a small restaurant opening in Oakville? For those of you who don’t know, my mom is immersed in “kind food” through her work and that weaves into her life, and then ours as a family, and outwards from there. She has exposed me to many opportunities, and I have developed many connections with great people because of this – and have been privy to receiving much support and encouragement from chefs, food makers, and other great people as part of the community. I have learned lessons in hard work, honourable work, and sometimes even tough lessons on how people aren’t who they seem to be. My mother and I ended up at Community because of a couple of people who I’ve known for years who are working together there, Franca and Richard, and we were so excited to try this new plant-based restaurant before it opened to the public.
Richard, who is Community’s chef, is amazing and I always enjoyed the food he made in his past kitchens, but here and now, he has developed unique dishes that shine in flavour and presentation. The menu can please everyone, no matter the food rules you live by.
The space is brightly lit and features a massive painting of an elephant on the far wall, emphasizing the restaurant’s mascot (to find out more about why the elephant is their logo, click here). The long table in the centre of the space is perfect for large parties or a communal setting!
For appetizers, my mom and I decided to order the cauliflower bites, which came with crispy dill (yes, you will want to eat all of the garnish!) and tzatziki made with cashews instead of dairy. These crispy bites were the perfect start to an amazing meal, and the dill being salted and fried added a unique texture to the herb that was new to me. The second appetizer we enjoyed was the caesar salad. I know this might sound like a boring choice, but it was anything but. While most caesars usually have a dressing that focuses too much on garlic or lemon juice, this cashew-based masterpiece blended the ingredients and flavours of the dressing together perfectly, and the salad was given a nice crunch and flavour with croutons and tempeh bacon bits. Just like everything else we ate, it was perfectly balanced in flavour and texture. It was creamy and light and bursting with flavour.
When deciding on my main course, the four options available each sounded so delicious that I decided to just order all of them! These four delicious dishes were served in very reasonable portion sizes with very unique flavours – no two dishes had a similar palette or presentation – something I find many other vegan restaurants struggle with!
First up was the Chana Masala, which consisted of chickpeas, tomato, potato, basmati rice, a vegetable samosa, tamarind sauce, and coriander chutney. The curry chickpeas and potato went perfectly with the rice, and the samosa (one of my secret food weaknesses) went perfectly with the two condiments! Next up was the Truffle Gnocchi, which consisted of chanterelle and shiitake mushrooms, green peas, microgreens, and a sage cream sauce. This amazing dish was flavoured to perfection and the chanterelles were perfectly seasoned – there are few things more delicious than a perfectly cooked mushroom! The third entree was the Gourmet Burger. Featuring the Beyond Burger, this dish was topped with housemade potato-based queso, tomato, lettuce, pickle, onion, and aioli, and was served with delicious almond truffle fries and mushroom gravy. The fourth and final dish was the Mediterranean flatbread pizza, featuring artichoke hearts, cremini and portobello mushroom, olive, arugula, garlic, sundried tomato, cashew mozzarella, and marinara sauce. The housemade crust was delicious – dry and crispy in the perfect way, and really put the exclamation point on an amazing meal! Even though they don’t claim that pizza is a specialty, this ranks up there with places that do claim that!
After eating so much, I wasn’t sure I had room for dessert, but I HAD to try their chocolate cake. Plated beautifully with a bright red berry sauce and raspberries, this delectable and gooey cake was the perfect end to our adventure at Community! Franca also brought us the strawberry shortcake which was outstanding.
If you’re ever in Oakville or just feel like making the trip to support some truly amazing people while enjoying great plant-based food, Community is the place to go – it’s definitely worth the drive from Toronto!