Here at Walton Robinson, we recently sampled the delights that Cote Brasserie, in Newcastle City Centre’s Grainger Street, has to offer.
The French-style bistro restaurant has an elegant yet laid back feel, and there is instantly an air of calm and tranquillity when you walk through the door that mirrors the chilled Parisian lifestyle.
We were instantly made to feel welcome and staff were consistently ensuring guests had everything they needed and ensuring the experience was as welcoming and enjoyable as possible.
We were seated in a delightful little window booth area, that made the experience feel that little bit more personal and intimate.
Greeted with aperitifs, we were handed several menu options and given ample time to choose food and drinks, with complimentary bottled water quenching our thirst in the meanwhile.
The laidback feel of the restaurant meant that placing our order took a little bit of time, but this almost added to the experience as it gave time to relax and take in surroundings; which despite planned refurbishment works, already provide an air of grace and luxury.
This is not your average chain restaurant, but a boutique experience – it’s somewhere for a relaxing meal, or a social lunch, not a quick or rushed bite to eat.
There was plenty to offer on Cote’s menus with their stand out a la carte, accompanied by an affordable fixed price menu and seasonal specials. The restaurant also offers breakfast options on a morning, and caters for everyone including vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options.
The restaurant seemed to be able to cater for every palette, and we were impressed by their enquiries about allergies and how this was taken seriously, and also how they endeavoured to cater for those with specific dietary requirements. After all, impossible n’est pas français!
One guest, during our visit, had specific dietary requirements and the staff seemed to be completely accommodating, bring their food on a completely separate tray and going the extra mile to avoid any possibility of contamination, which was really reassuring to witness.
For starters, we shared a Fougasse – which for those of you who don’t know, is a posh pretzel shaped garlic bread, though this description does the dish no justice whatsoever. We found that this made a lovely sharer, though we definitely wouldn’t be running into any vampires after eating it! If you’re a fan of strong garlic, this one is definitely for you.
It was really difficult to choose our main courses, simply due to the range of options on the menu. For our main courses, we both chose to go with options from the vegetarian/vegan section of the menu, as this is something neither of us would ever normally make at home and we wanted to try something a bit more exotic than the usual chicken and chips.
Our choices were a Mushroom and Camembert Tart, and a Squash Taboulé. The tart proved to be a perfect lunch portion with flaky pastry and fresh toppings. Inspired by Marseille’s North African quarter, the Taboulé was extremely tasty and deceivingly filling.
Cote’s desserts are on another level – it is that simple!
Taken back to holidays in the French riviere, the dessert menu was like looking into the window of a typical patisserie, with all the usual suspects, and a few less traditional options.
We chose the Chocolate and Salted Caramel Tarte, and the very traditional Tarte au Citron. The chocolate tarte proved extremely rich – very much a guilty pleasure, with a dense but crumbly ganache style consistency. Meanwhile, the tarte au citron, or lemon tart, was very refreshing and altogether much lighter than the chocolate. It was beautifully presented, though we had never seen one served with blueberries before – even in France. Despite this, both desserts were simply delicious, and it was a shame we were too full to finish them!
Cote Brasserie provides a luxury experience with refined food and a relaxed atmosphere. The restaurant makes the perfect lunch spot with its “bistro” feel, or, alternatively, it would also be the perfect setting for a date night. The staff were extremely friendly and knowledgeable, and if you like to feel truly welcome in a setting – this is the place for you! Next up….. we need to try the breakfast! Un croissant s’il vous plait!