Communal: A Health-Conscious Community Eatery
While owner Cristina Castañeda is best known for authentic Mexican cuisine, with Communal Oven & Earth (141 W. 72nd St. b/w Columbus & Amsterdam Aves., 212-579-2929), this veteran restaurateur follows her other passion: healthful eating. Opened in spring 2014, Communal’s fresh, pure and casual atmosphere welcomes guests and offers a menu created with seasonal, locally-sourced farm-fresh ingredients, including sustainably raised meats and dairy. The food is centered around health-purposed ingredients such as quinoa, flax seed, black sesame and bitter greens, and all breads and pastries are baked fresh in-house. Communal’s healthy fare is conveniently available from morning to night, seven days a week, with take-out and delivery available too, so area residents can enjoy healthful meals anytime. To complement their flavorful food, Communal serves fresh juices and smoothies and certified organic, sustainable and biodynamic wines as well as beer and hard cider. For the summer season, picnic totes will be readily available to picnic in Central Park, just steps away from from the restaurant.
Communal’s “A.M.”, “P.M.” and “To-Go” menus offer a wide variety of options for diners. The A.M. menu features fresh “eye-opening bites,” including: house-baked pastries, Challah French Toast, Seasonal Chia Fruit Pudding with Greek yogurt, Morning Flatbreads (cheese, vegetable, egg), and brunch/lunch Small Bites, Soups, Empanadas, Sandwiches, Salads, savory Flatbreads and “Combunals” (specifically combined meals to address your daily need: protein, detox or immune boosting). For P.M., the menu serves similar Nibbles (small bites), Salads, Empanadas, Sandwiches, Flatbreads and Combunals (specifically geared to hardworking parents on the go - the “Mombie” and “Zomdie”). Desserts including Dark Chocolate Chia pudding, Chocolate Flourless Eclipse. The “To-Go” menu features “Community Wheels:” full-size pizzas, in addition to the Flatbreads.
All day and evening, guests will find a wide assortment of beverages at Communal including fair-trade coffees (Rainforest Alliance, Certified Organic, Kosher, locally roasted) and Mighty Leaf teas. In addition, the bar serves offer certified organic, sustainable and biodynamic wines as well as beer and cider.
Cristina Castañeda came to New York City in 1988 from Guadalajara. Becoming a restaurateur wasn’t her chosen profession, but her passion for tasting, travel and her Mexican heritage made it her destiny. Her commitment to ethics and personal health is embodied in Communal Oven & Earth. The sister UWS New York City restaurants include Café Frida, Café Ronda, El Mitote and most recently addition to the family Chico Julio Bodega de Mar. Through Communal, and all of the restaurants, Cristina aims to evoke the hospitality, imagination, allure, and heritage of each cuisine explored.