le tasting room

Loire wine tours, tastings, day trips from Paris & short breaks organised by experienced English wine trade professionals.

Monday, 28 June 2010

Le Petit Manoir - St Melaine (near Angers)

Following an excellent tasting at Domaine des Rochelles in St Jean des Mauvrets this week, we tried out a restaurant in St Melaine that we had not been to before. In the heart of the village, it was refurbished last year and we've been meaning to try it since then.

It was packed with locals (always a good sign), most of them eating the ouvrier's menu which at just over 10 Euros for entrée, plat, fromage, dessert, coffee and wine , sounded like tremendous value to me. As we had a little more time on our hands we opted for the 18 Euro menu. I enjoyed a croustillant of goats cheese served with an aubergine caviar and balsamic dressed salad leaves. Other starters were a smoked duck, and foie gras salad with walnuts and orange, and a pressé of sardines. For my main course I had the plat du jour which was a fillet of merlu (white fish), served with a mirepoix of vegetables (tiny cubes of pepper, courgette, onion, garlic, aubergine). The others had kidneys in a rich grain mustard and wine sauce with smashed new potatoes.

We drank a bottle of Damien Laureau's Savennières, Les Genets 2006 which was a little closed but had good minerality on the palate and went well with the fish.

Service was swift for those eating the ouvriers menu (who were incidentally enjoying a Magnum ice cream for dessert - welcome on a very hot day) and slightly more relaxed in the main restaurant where we were seated. The decor is attractive and there is a nice garden out the back although it was so hot that we opted to stay inside.

We'll be back to try out the ouvrier's menu but in the meantime, we can certainly recommend it.