Côte Brasserie Visit: August 2016
Fancy a culinary whirlwind tour across France, from Languedoc in the South, Brittany in the west, then right into the heart of Paris? No flight or Eurostar tickets are required, located on St Mary’s Street just off deansgate awaited our French paradise, Bonjour Manchester Côte Brasserie! An inviting entrance offering outdoor seating, topiary ball trees with green foliage and quaint rustic signage. Inside, we were shown to cosy and cute booth style seating which provided a good viewing point to watch the world go by and imagine that we were in the very heart of France. The rustic and contemporary décor retains that French charm and character.
Nibbles consisted of mixed olives marinated in olive oil, garlic & herbs. The Saucisson Sec, thinly sliced high quality cured Burgundian sausage that was complimented with pickles. Finally, the Pissaladière a tantalising tasty traditional warm flatbread from Nice with caramelised onions, with Reblochon cheese and thyme. Light, moreish and a lovely start to our meal.
For starters we opted for the Charentais Melon with Savoie Ham, seasonal fresh juicy Charentais melon with amazing air-dried mountain ham topped off with high quality extra virgin olive oil. A true Parisian tasting experience as the Charentais melons come direct from the legendary Rungis market in Paris! The sensational Seared Scallops special was served with a frisée salad, bacon lardons and a warm Puy lentil, tomato and garlic dressing. All washed down with a crisp, rich and vibrant glass of Château Treviac Rosé 2015 Corbières. A very special sensational summer wine that features a hint of redcurrant and is made for Côte by Arnaud Sie and his family in the hills of the sun-drenched Languedoc.
Mouth-watering mains made it to the table, but were devoured within record time! The 7oz fillet steak was cooked to perfection served with frites and a delicious green pleasant peppercorn, cognac and cream sauce. Teamed with a glass of full bodied robust red, I certainly felt like the cat that had got the cream. Further enhanced by knowing that all Côte Steaks come from 30 day aged grain fed cattle.
Half Chargrilled ‘Breton’ Chicken served with frites was on another level. Crispy, crunch tasty chicken skin with the most succulent tender chicken was a taste sensation. The wild mushroom, creamy crème fraîche and thyme sauce addition was an excellent choice. The dish was an authentic flavour of France, as the Grills Poulet ‘Brenton’ corn fed chicken is reared in the heart of rural Brittany in the west of France which is renowned for its poultry.
Restaurant sides can be somewhat disappointing delivering skimpy portion sizes and limp vegetables in pitiful looking bowls. However, not at Côte generous sizeable scrumptious side additions, that further enhanced the main dishes, were the great glazed carrots with parsley and brilliant braised minted peas. Seasonal, fresh and delicious.
Delicious, delectable, delightful desserts consisted of their Chocolate Fondant, a wonderful warm light chocolate fluffy fondant with rich vanilla ice-cream. The Peach Tarte Tatin selected from their specials was a traditional French caramelised perfect peach tart served with crème fraiche. The pastry was lovely, lush and I am still longing for more. All teamed up with a double Espresso.
Water can divide a table and become a table topic debate; Tap Vs bottled. Those requiring tap water may feel awkward to ask. At Côte this friction is avoided, as tap water is already provided in a cool Côte rustic flask. Water was needed throughout and to keep us hydrated, as we were to Finish off with some fantastic French beers such as Dunkerque and Meteor. Served in a 33cl bottle with a percentage of 4.6%. Meteor was a privilege to enjoy, as this is brewed by one of the last independent, family owned breweries in France.
Carlos our server throughout was spot on. He really knows the customer and understands what is expected. Allowing us enough space to be relaxed, but attentive enough to allow us a stress free, effortless and enjoyable experience. Carlos had expert menu knowledge and guided us through the menu like a pro and provided useful suggestions. Service like this priceless!
No French berry’s, string of onions, stripy tops or dodgy moustaches insight. Côte is a serious contender in the French bistro restaurant scene. Proudly flying the French flag, using quality produce, cooked well and producing authentic French cuisine. Côte is not the typical restaurant chain. The cooking is clearly carried out with love, from the heart…the heart of France.
This is one occasion, that I would not want the yellow tour de France top, there is no need to race to the finish line, as who would want this fantastic French family feast to finish. The mix of fabulous fresh French classics, high quality produce, an ever changing specials menu, locally sourced French wine and beer selections, first class service and all delivered within a reasonable price point warrants getting up and doing the Cancan in celebration… Oh là là. However, I will save my dancing shoes for the next time I am in town, as this was more than a one off French Love Affair, as I will be sure to visit again. Au revoir for now Côte.
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Côte Brasserie, 4-12 St Mary’s Street, Manchester M3 2LB
Monday to Friday 8am – 11pm Saturday 9am – 11pm Sunday 9am – 10:30pm