Washington Post reviews: Commonwealth Indian is dressed to thrill in Rockville

From The Washington Post Magazine: Two Stars (good)

Now along comes Commonwealth Indian, raising the design bar in Rockville with its 100-seat bar and dining room in the Pike & Rose development. I’ve seen no other restaurant that looks like it. Two-dimensional Bengal tigers, cut from metal, cavort on the walls, and the illusion of a peacock in a garden is created from a bunch of colorful faux flowers and plants. Globe-shaped lights shimmer beneath an ornate, gold-painted ceiling. The look sets a tone, raises diners’ expectations and suggests the owner cares as much about comfort as he does about cooking.

Commonwealth Indian focuses mostly on the food of the north, sometimes with a twist, almost always with a flourish. That Indian workhorse, lamb kebab, is presented with a semicircular hedge of chopped tomato, cucumber and onion, a sparkling contrast to the soft rope of lamb shot through with ginger and coriander. Paneer bonda, fried balls of the crumbled cheese in a veneer of spiced gram flour, are served on sticks like savory pops and embedded in a thick red pepper-onion sauce.

South India is represented, and well, by Chettinad murgh, chicken cloaked in yogurt, chile paste and black pepper and cooked over a low fire with onions and tomatoes. What should sting — vindaloo, for instance — does, although the heat tends to be revealed in little waves rather than bugle blasts. See: sauteed shrimp in a tamarind-tart sauce of coconut milk, and subtly smoky with Kashmiri chiles.

Commonwealth Indian (Good) 11610 Old Georgetown Rd., Rockville. 240-833-3055. commonwealthindian.com.

Open: Daily for lunch or brunch and dinner. Prices: Lunch appetizers $9 to $12, entrees $12 to $19; dinner appetizers $8 to $15, entrees $19 to $29. Sound check: 70 decibels/Conversation is easy. Accessibility: No steps. Two broad doors lead to the foyer. Restrooms are equipped with roomy stalls and grab bars.

Read the rest of the review here.

Two New Pike & Rose Restaurants: Kusshi Sushi and Sake Bar and Commonwealth Indian

From Bethesda Beat

A sushi and sake bar and an Indian restaurant will soon open at Pike & Rose.

Commonwealth Indian will open in place of La Madeleine on Old Georgetown Road, and Kusshi Sushi and Sake Bar in what had been Carluccio’s next to Owen’s Ordinary.

Kusshi Sushi, which takes its name from the kusshi oyster, will open in the fall, offering sushi rarities such as sea urchin and its namesake oyster, according to a Pike & Rose spokeswoman. The bar will offer an option to order meals “Omakase,” meaning “to entrust the chef,” in which the chef prepares a multicourse meal based on the freshest ingredients that will be different each day.

Kusshi boasts it will have the “largest selection” of sake in the D.C. area, according to Pike & Rose.

Read more at Bethesda Beat.