Homestyle Cuisine Stars at Communite? Table
It’s a take-out, dine-in place with seasonal soups, salads, and hearty full-meal offerings.
Michele LeProhn shows off frozen pot pies that are ready to be taken home.
Photo by Lori Eanes
For close to 25 years, Michele LeProhn has been a resident of the Laurel district. Earlier this year, LeProhn opened Communite Table, a restaurant with California-inspired cuisine that’s as confident with take-out dinners as it is with sit-down fare, a combination LeProhn as chef and owner felt was underrepresented in her neighborhood. For LeProhn, Communite Table is for her community.
Aside from the Semifreddis baguettes that surround albacore tuna salad and accompany daily soups such as parsnip and fennel with a parsley-pesto drizzle, everything at Communite? Table is made in house, down to the mayo. The effort pays off, as each dish would be at home in a Napa picnic filled with fresh, seasonal flavors, and a touch of French and European inspiration and homestyle preparation.
Though some dishes hold a permanent place at the table, the menus at Communite Table change frequently with new takes on soups, chicken salad, specials, and desserts every day and a weekly revamped dinner menu. Daily specials may include grilled Italian sausages with a balsamic onion confit and red lentils or a hunter’s chicken with mushrooms, peppers, and onions in a red wine reduction—perfect fuel for stalking pheasants or conquering that 3 p.m. meeting.
The deli case is a treasure trove of simple, clean flavors such as roasted cauliflower and beets, black beans with a lemon vinaigrette, and—the crowd favorite—a kale salad with house vinaigrette, feta, mandarins, and toasted almonds. Even those feeling burned out over kale’s ubiquitous presence in the culinary world will appreciate the perfect marriage of earthy and tangy notes in this salad.
For those eager to bring Communite Table’s deliciousness home, most items are available to go, but it’s the freshly made frozen dishes that should be a staple in your home kitchen. Chicken pot pies small enough for one or large enough for a family, pork and squash stew over mashed potatoes, and a kale and butternut squash galette that’s perfectly buttery and flaky right out of your oven all surely top that box of Hamburger Helper you almost went for as a last choice in an empty cupboard.
The dine-in/to-go split is one that seems to have paid off as LeProhn says the restaurant does roughly half of its business in each category. And why not? A one-stop spot for a tuna sandwich for lunch and a fresh-baked chicken pot pie for dinner without having to raise a finger—who wouldn’t want to live in that Communite?
Communite Table, 4171 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland, 510-482-2114, www.Communite-Table.com