Community Gathers HereApr 01, 2018 ● By Amy Richmond
Walking up on a Friday night, the hostess sees my husband and I approaching and politely opens the door for us with a genuine smile. She asks how we are doing, and she really seems to want to know, unlike the typical automatic and stoic exchanges of today. It is a simple exchange of words, but surprisingly refreshing.
She walks us across polished concrete floors to a plush booth adorned with a fresh red rose. The pop of color is an alluring contrast to the grey booths, white tumbled tile and wood-paneled walls. A cluster of exposed bulbs encased with wire illuminates a large, wood-framed chalkboard with the features of the day. The Chef’s Daily Pick is listed as a Prosciutto Melon Bowl served with giardiniera. On the opposite end of the restaurant, white window frames hang against a dark teal wall which runs perpendicular to a well-stocked bar.
As we settle in, we peruse the unique drink menu. Adam, our server, greets us with a cheery “hello” and we inquire about his recommended drinks. Julie’s Snow Bunny and Beth’s Chilled Blueberry are both touted as popular options. So, my husband opts for the former, which contains vodka, Kahlua, white Crème de la Cocoa and half-and-half, and I select the latter, a sweet concoction of blueberry vodka, blue Curacao, lemonade and a splash of club soda.
Our drinks arrive in your basic mason jars, but it is what is on the inside that really counts! Julie’s Snow Bunny brought back memories of cozy winter days and Beth’s Chilled Blueberry, topped beautifully with a slice of lemon and fresh blueberries, brought memories of porch swings and bare feet. Both drinks were dangerously delicious.
For appetizers, we choose the Jalapeno Corn Nuggets and the Spinach Artichoke Dip. The Jalapeno Corn Nuggets, described as “sweet, spicy, fun!” arrived hot and full of spicy flavors in a simple, newspaper-lined bowl. A small pool of ranch dressing was provided for cooling things off. Do not let these innocent little brown nuggets fool you. They hold secrets of zesty goodness inside. And once their secret is discovered, they will not last long!
The Spinach Artichoke Dip had some surprises of its own. Arriving in style on a wooden plank, the dip sat on one side, all toasty and warm in a plain tin pan. At the other end of the plank, slices of super-soft and toasted sweet pretzel bread eyed the dip from afar. Only a single spoon divided them. When put to good use, the spoon brought both sides together for a blissfully delectable union. We had to pace ourselves because there was more food to come.
In fact, we had gone so crazy over the appetizers, we hardly had enough room to eat our entrees. My husband did his best with the Boneless Short Rib Martino Style. Despite being layered with a red wine and beef gravy reduction with tomatoes and mushrooms, he just could not quite fit it all in. He even left a few shoestring French fries behind!
Meanwhile, the four humongous meatballs in my Mom’s Spaghetti and Meatballs plate taunted me from a bed of spaghetti. I managed to happily conquer the mountainous meatballs, but still left some of the spaghetti noodles behind. The meal was so warm and delicious — truly “like mom used to make.”
My husband and I decided we needed to exercise at least some meager sign of restraint when it came time for dessert, so we chose to share the Neighborhood Brownie with Ice Cream. If we had not been so stuffed already, we would have regretted deciding to share something!
Our hot brownie arrived in a tin pan placed inside a metal bowl. The brownie was topped with cookies and cream ice cream and two spoons stood ready for a duel. As an added challenge, the tin pan spun inside the bowl, so our dessert-bite duel had to be strategic. In the end, and in record time I might add, the dessert was fairly and evenly devoured. I have a weakness for warm brownies and cookies and cream ice cream, so this was a divine ending to our meal.
Before attempting to stand up and walk, we let our food settle a bit and chatted briefly with our server. The chef and owner, John Kinch III, occasionally circulated from table to table. Our server shared that the restaurant team has really built a special bond with local people who come in and try the food. The restaurant has already established a wonderful relationship with surrounding neighborhoods and local businesses and looks forward to meeting the rest of the city.
Having been around the block a few times in the restaurant industry, Mr. Kinch III is focused on making what is on the inside count. “My wife and I had been talking, and we realized the old neighborhood taverns we grew up with were gone,” he shares. “My wife added the tagline, ‘Where Neighbors Gather,’ and there is nothing that makes us more excited than when we look out in the dining room and see people hanging around and talking to their friends at other tables. That is what our intention is … to be a neighborhood tavern that serves good food.”
Most of the restaurant’s recipes come from Mr. Kinch III’s own home cooking, which were tested throughout his own neighborhood, Phillips Creek Ranch, and tweaked to cater to the community’s tastes.
If you are looking for some home-style cooking here in Frisco, The Community Grill, located at 2525 Main Street #400, is the place for you and your family! It truly is a relaxing and fun place for everyone in Frisco to enjoy. To check out the menu or learn more, go to thecommunitygrill.com.
Frisco STYLE Magazine dining reviews are not scheduled with or paid for by the featured restaurant. All reviews are completed for the purpose of helping readers know and enjoy the local dining options.