The Côte Brasserie, Bridge Street, Chester. Tel: 01244 567232
HAVING never dined in a Côte restaurant before, I was excited to try the new branch in Chester - and I certainly wasn’t disappointed!
Côte serves French dishes, which they claim are “inspired by the brasseries of Paris”, in locations across the UK.
The Chester branch was officially opened just a few weeks ago, so as a resident of the city I knew I had to give it a try.
Usually the idea of French cuisine would put me off altogether, as I can be quite a fussy eater but after looking at the menu online I realised there were so many tasty options to try.
My friend and I visited the brasserie on a Thursday afternoon and were delighted by the ambience of the lower floor of the restaurant where we were seated.
It is within one of the crypts of the rows on Bridge Street and offers a traditional French vibe which does make you feel as though you’re dining in a village somewhere in France.
The staff were extremely attentive and were happy to help with anything they could.
We opted for the three-course lunch menu, which at £12.95 I don’t think is bad at all for the quality of the food.
I chose the baby gem salad with bacon lardons, walnuts, egg and tomato, which for something so simple was incredibly tasty and I was very surprised at how much I enjoyed it.
I also tried the pan roasted chicken breast, which again was quite a simple option but the chicken was cooked to perfection!
We then shared two desserts, iced berries with white chocolate sauce and the chocolate mousse, because we both just couldn’t decide between the two.
I think the desserts would have to have been the highlight of my afternoon treat at the brasserie, as they were the perfect portion size after two courses and so tasty, the chocolate mousse was definitely the best I’ve ever eaten.
Our first experience of a Côte restaurant was delightful and from the first bite of my starter I could see why they are becoming so popular.
The one and only thing that took me a bit by surprise was the 12.5 per cent service charge added to our bill at the end. It does state this on the menu (although I hadn’t actually noticed that until the end) and the staff were absolutely brilliant, so they deserved the tip, but I do think diners should be able to decide what amount they can leave for the servers.
Of course, you have the option to take it off the bill but I think like most people that would make me feel a bit close-fisted.
1 x Lagarde Blanc £4.40
1 x Cuvee Laborie £4.60
2x £12.95 three-course lunch menu:
Baby gem salad with bacon lardons, walnuts, egg and tomato
Moules Marinieres (mussles with white wine, tomatoes, garlic, shallots and chili)
Grilled sea bream
Pan roasted chicken breast
= £40.05 (Including service charge)
See full story in the Leader