Civray, Vienne. Hotel du Commerce (2nd June 2012) http://www.hotel-du-commerce-86.com/index.php
The restaurant aspires to fine dining and largely succeeds. They take full advantage of their position on the riverside in Civray and most diners choose to eat on the spacious and pleasant terrace which is usually full so booking is advisable and probably essential on summer weekends.
We did not make a good start on the occasion of our visit as we, and others who were there at the same time, had a 20 minute wait before we were able to place our orders, and we were not offered aperitifs. However once we had managed to order the service of the meal itself was perfectly well timed so it seemed an unnecessary annoyance.
The standard of the food was high. The starters were faultless. I had the crab millefeuille which was a wonderful mix of crab in a mildly curried dressing sandwiched between wafers of crisp pastry, garnished with avocado dressed with pesto and smoked cod’s roe. It was absolutely delicious. My partner was equally impressed with his cassoulet of snails and wild mushrooms and my sister likewise with goats cheese wrapped in jamon and lightly heated, served with salad.
The main courses were good but did not quite match that standard. My medallion of veal was lean but a little chewy and my husband’s skate was a little dry but my sister found that her salmon was perfectly cooked to the pink. The accompanying vegetables were very good – just cooked enough, a good variety and lightly buttered.
The cheeseboard was of a very good standard.
My dessert was a good crepe with warm mandarin slices. My partner found his tarte tatin a little sweet but accepts that that is largely a matter of taste and he does not have a sweet tooth. My sister was happy with her pineapple carpaccio.
The bill for 3 with wine came to 80 euros which represented pretty good value given the ambience, the beautifully presented and largely good food.