I had heard great things about this restaurant and had been aching to try it for a little while. So I was excited once I finally got round to making a reservation. Tucked away in a quiet unassuming West Village street, this cosy restaurant is very popular. And boy does that show on a Friday evening. Despite my reservation and arriving on time, we had over an hours wait before we were seated. I am not going to lie, this was not the most pleasant experience. We were crammed in by the hectic bar like sardines (imagine the Northern Line at rush hour). The delays and cramped conditions led to a few upset customers complaining but the staff did an amazing job working under high pressure with tempers flaring. We were given complimentary drinks and the food that followed then made up for the less than ideal start.
The bread, oh the bread. Normally I try to avoid eating too much before my food arrives so as not to fill up on bread. But the Commerce brings a bread-basket to end all bread-baskets, with a variety of hot, home made rolls that are impossible to resist. From freshly baked tomato and pesto to soft salty pretzels to cheese and bacon mini rolls… the bread-basket did not last long.
I opted for the Winter Vegetable in Thai Red Curry: fresh, delicate, aromatic and seriously tasty. The Steak Diane was elegant and cooked to perfection.
For desert I ordered their famous Coconut Cake. While this is not normally my favourite desert, I had heard such good things that it just had to be done. First of all, it is huge. Everyone at the table ended up trying it but even then I still left about a third (maybe I did eat a little too much bread after all). Second of all, it is delicious. Just go and try it. Be prepared for a moist slab of coconut deliciousness.
Their cookie was a great choice for those who want something sweet but who know when enough is enough (yes my eyes are frequently bigger than my belly). The Birthday Cake comes complete with a candle and is just as big as the Coconut Cake.
Overall, yes the hour wait standing in a seriously crowded room did initially put me off but the staff was fantastic, the atmosphere was good and the food was just amazing.