At the start of the year I decided that I wasn’t going to review chain restaurants anymore. Not because I don’t think they have their place in the food scene but because for me they just can’t compare with local places, because of this I decided that it was unfair to review them. They would never score anywhere close to what I would score local places and I felt this was an unfair comparison.
Plus I don’t eat in big chains places very often.
So I decided just not to review them…plus you guys know what to expect from chains so frankly reviewing one doesn’t really tell you anything you don’t already know.
However – dun dun dun!!! 🙂
I was given a £70 voucher from Cote on West Nile Street to celebrate their opening. Being a bit uncomfortable accepting ‘freebies’ generally from places I decided to share it with a group of my buddies, so off we went for a Squad Sunday family dinner. I surprisingly really enjoyed it, it is something a little different not your standard boring Italian/Burger/faux American Diner chain. Given there are not an already over whelming array of local places offering a french inspired menu it actually made for a nice change.
As I am not scoring chain restaurants I am not going to do a full blow scored review but I did what to tell you guys that I liked it and think it is worth checking out.
The decor at Cote has a relaxed upmarket brassiere vibe, we were in after dark and with the low lighting and flickering candles on the tables it felt cosy and intimate. A spot I could happily hang out in for a few hours whither it is for a breakfast or dinner, it’s a nice space – interior designed to the max but nice none the less.
The staff were great – friendly, patient and very accommodating of my occasional weird menu request. When I walked in I mentioned to the assistant manager that I was excited to have the calamari starter again, a few minutes later our waiter arrived at the table to say there was only 1 calamari left and would I like it saved….erm YEAH!!!! Phew, crisis averted.
Now I know there has been reports in the media about tips/service charge at Cote in the last few weeks which I am not going to get involved with. All I will say is that we had a 12.5% ‘optional’ service charge already added to our bill. We still left our waiter a tip just incase he never sees the ‘optional service charge’ because he was absolutely lovely.
I liked the menu…it’s not in your face french but more french inspired.
My Calamari starter was just as good as I remembered it from my first visit – the portion was massive so I didn’t mind sharing it was the rest of the table. They were well cooked, not rubbery or chewy in the slightest. It came served with lots of creamy dipping tartar sauce on the side – I would highly recommend this dish.
For my main I was super good and went for the Chicken and Walnut salad described as – chargrilled chicken with avocado, baby gem lettuce, baby spinach, shallots, French beans, walnuts, croutons and a mustard dressing. I ordered mine without the dressing.
The salad was a little different which I like – lovely mixed leaves and big chunks of avocado, the french bean and walnuts added texture and gave the dish bite, and the grilled chicken was well seasoned and beautifully tender. As far as salads go it was one of the nicest.
I also tried some pommes rissolées (sautéed diced potatoes with bacon lardons) which were delicious. The potato was diced much smaller that I expected but they were little morsels of potato gorgeousness.
For dessert I couldn’t see passed the Praline Crepe – a chocolate and praline crêpe with caramelised bananas and crème Chantilly.
The bananas were sweet and crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle, the chocolate was dark and perfectly bitter, and the crème Chantilly was sweet and velvety. I would go back to Cote just for this dessert.
A lovely evening with my friends with copious amounts of booze consumed – I had my first every cognac which I quite enjoyed…they even asked if we wanted them served in a warmed glass – fancy pants!
I will happily go back to Cote again because it was a bit different and the food was really good.
It’s definitely worth checking out!