A brasserie describes a type of French restaurant that serves classic French dishes in a friendly, but upscale setting. Welcome to Côte Brasserie, inspired by brasseries in Paris that champion relaxed all day dining.
Côte Brasserie took me by surprise. From the outside it oozes classic French charm, with an outdoor setting of small marble round top tables, and perfectly placed symmetrically aligned plant pots and a centralised doorway. Inside it’s classic deep red leather, globe lighting, classic white linen napkins and simple yet elegant tableware. However the brasserie is huge inside; completely and cleverly deceptive.
Seated by the window, we happily drank this large refreshing looking drink, the Pampelle Spritz. It’s Ruby Red Grapefruit with Prosecco.
Bitter-sweet citrus & natural botanicals make for very easy drinking and served with a lot of ice and a thick slice of grapefruit is the perfect festival drink this August.
Drinks sorted, it was time to decide what to have from the menu; but there are so many mouth watering dishes that we needed more time to think, plus we were having a real good blether.
With a classic French menu you can expect to find several traditional dishes on the menu and Côte Brasserie is no different – French Onion Soup, Moules Marinières, Steak Tartare, Tuna Niçoise, Escalope De Veau and Tarte au Citron.
We ordered this beaut of a bread; the Fougasse. A leaf shaped garlic bread with parsley and sea salt. I loved the valleys where pools of garlic butter and sea salt gathered soaking into the bread and making it lovely and soft; and then the peaks of the bread where it was a little crispier and crunchier.
There was a major delay in taking our starters and mains order, not sure if it was due to it being fairly busy or if they thought we were gabbing too much and didn’t look that hungry. After about 40 minutes, we decided to call a waiter over and place our order.
It was a scorcher outside so I wanted something light and summery but wasn’t in the mood for a salad. I spotted the Charentais Melon with Savoie Ham (air-dried mountain ham) and extra virgin olive oil. The melon was nicely ripe, sweet and cold whilst the ham was thin and salty and the fat just melted in your mouth. Perfect mouthfuls one after the other. Delicious.
Kirsty opted for the Chicken Liver Parfait with toasted brioche and spiced apple chutney.
A very pleasant looking assembly on a board. She rejoiced at the amount of bread in relation to pâté (two large thick warm brioche toasted slices). The pâté was nice, made even better with the apple chutney which she seemed to pile high on high piece of toast.
For mains I chose the Poulet Grillé – Chargrilled butterflied chicken breast with wild mushroom, crème fraîche and thyme sauce, served with gratin potato. A really difficult dish to photograph but it was so so good. A large bowl of well seasoned, buttery chicken, with creamy earthy mushrooms soaking up the herb sauce. The potato gratin held the flavours too. This was a comforting dish and highly delectable.
A wee side order of braised minted peas brought some bright green colour to the dish. Peas were al dente and popped in your mouth bringing a lovely aftertaste of subtle mint.
Kirsty ordered the Fillet served chargrilled with frites and garlic butter.
Everything on the plate was flawess. All their steaks are aged 30 days and this steak was cooked to perfection. Although it was a thick cut it was tender and succulent but held onto the smokiness from the chargrill. Chips were lovely and happy to note that the garlic butter was garlicky! (genuine applause).
So after two Pampelle Spritz’s and two courses we were pretty much stuffed but the dessert menu kept winking at us, begging us to order something. We gave in.
Kirsty went for the Ice-cream – there is vanilla, strawberry and chocolate ice cream available; but it was vanilla all the way.
On the other hand I chose the Cote Brasserie Speciality, Crème Caramel.
Traditional set vanilla pod custard with dark caramel and cream.
Oh hello! Where have you been all my life. The wobble alone made me excited to eat this. This is like eating velvet…the spoon cut through it like a knife through soft butter. The taste is exquisite subtle flavours of cream, caramel, vanilla. So decadent.
We decided to indulge in a cheeky wee glass of dessert wine. Domaine de Barroubio 2016, Muscat de Saint Jean de Minervois. It’s a sweet and rich wine; you should pick up pear, rose petals and citrus. It has a long finish and went remarkably well with both desserts.
The food here is exceptional, and the waiters are friendly and know their menu.
Côte Brasserie is an ideal place for breakfast, lunch, dinner, vegetarians, gluten freebies, three courses or just plat du jour, and should definitely be on your must visit list.
Côte Brasserie, 51 Frederick Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1LH.
Tel : 0131 202 6256 www.cote.co.uk
My Spoon Award : Gold Spoon 9/10