We the People

The thrills of the long-anticipated Commonwealth

Defection can be a boon for the common good.

Take the brand-new restaurant Commonwealth.

Most of the crew behind the progressive venture worked together at nearby Bar Tartine. Cook Anthony Myint was the first to peel off, launching Mission Street Food. Now, Myint has rallied a handful of his talented longtime coworkers.

The open kitchen is run by executive chef Jason Fox and chef de cuisine Ian Muntzert, both of whom held the same positions at Bar Tartine.

The pair's food honors the Bay Area's finest raw materials, bending them into a singular cuisine unfazed by the Bay Area's pizza, burger and Italian obsessions.

Some examples from two meals in the restaurant's first week (yes, Commonwealth is that good): chilled vadouvan-spiced squash purée ($9) with ribbons of raw squash, flanked by fried squash blossoms and salsa verde; and squid ($12) bursting with pork that's been slapped with tamarind and marrow–a genius commingling of land and sea.

Commonwealth's airy dining room is overseen by the warm professionalism of former Bar Tartine general manager Xelina Leyba, and the well-crafted wine program is the handiwork of former bartender Sarah Elliott.

Still more good: $10 from Commonwealth's inspired six-course tasting menu ($60) is donated to a local nonprofit.

Commonwealth, 2224 Mission St. (at 18th St.); 415-355-1500 or commonwealthsf.com