Taking over the empty Barclays Bank unit on Grainger Street, Côte Brasserie has plunged itself deep in to the heart of Newcastle in a pretty major location.
The Côte Brasserie chain is bringing French inspired dining to the nation and most importantly – the Toon.
On a rare girls night out, my dining partner and I headed along to the Cote preview evening to see what French fancies we were in store for.
Entering from the cold drab dreary night outside, you’d be mistaken to think you had been whisked away to a cosy little French bistro in a secluded alleyway in Paris…. or Rene’s cafe in Allo Allo. It was a fine line!
For the best views, the private dining room upstairs is slap bang on the apex of corner meaning perfect views down Grainger street – perfect for Christmas lights!
To start, we were presented with a selection of the most popular starters on the Côte Brasserie menu. There was some hits and some misses on our table but that’s always going to be the case. The big winners were the calamari (£6.75) which was soft and tender, Saucisson Sec (£3.75) the thinly sliced sausage had an unusual taste and paired well with the tang of the cornichons and finally the Warm Roquefort Salad (£5.75). Served in the individual endive leaves, the warm creamy sauce had the perfect heady cheese taste to smother the pieces of cheese, chilled leaves and crunch of the nuts.
We also sampled the Crab Mayonnaise, Chicken Liver Parfait and the Pissaladiere, which is a french flatbread dish.
Moving swiftly on to the mains, the menu had a well rounded choice of French classics from beef bourguignon to duck and fish stew. With daily specials and the lunch time menu (plats rapides) there is something for everyone.
Veering away from my go-to dish of Beef Bourguignon, I opted for the 7oz Fillet Steak with Garlic butter (£21.30). Cooked perfectly to my liking, the steak was like butter. I am more than happy to admit I am an utter Jack Sprat when it comes to red meat and there is always something left on the side of my plate but this steak was gone. Demolished. Flat out. It was so juicy and flavoursome I could have eaten another. The garlic butter was delicate and didn’t overpower the chargrilled flavour.
My dining companion opted for her favourite dish – Pork Belly (£13.95). Served atop a bed of savoy cabbage, apples, thyme and a calvados jus, the dish was accompanied by a potato gratin. A true winter warmer, elevated above the usual “roast dinner”. The pork was juicy and moist while the fat was crispy but still edible if you didn’t have all your own teeth! The sweetness of the apples and the calvados complimented the meat in place of a traditional apple sauce.
As if we weren’t full enough, the Tarte Fine Aux Pommes (£6.25) was ordered. The crisp puff pastry encased wafer thin slices of glazed apples. A warming, hearty dessert if you have a sweet tooth.
I must give an honourable mention to the Cheese Board (£6.75) too which was ginormous, easily enough for 2. It did lack a few of the refinements you’d normally find on a cheese board but the cracking cheese choices made up for it.
Would I head back to Côte Brasserie? If I can do anything to help relive our romantic trip to Paris, then I am on board!
Be sure to check out the newly opened restaurant in Newcastle!
We were invited to try Cote Brasserie for review but our thoughts are completely independent