Côte Brasserie, Newcastle

I can’t believe the amount of new restaurants that are popping up all over the city. One that I was looking forward to visiting was Côte Brasserie. Apart from some brief drinks and nibbles at their Covent Garden branch, I had never dined at the restaurant chain before and was curious to see what was on offer.

French inspired, the menu features a selection of locally sourced, seasonal dishes on its monthly changing menu. Guests can look forward to classic French delicacies such as steak tartare, cassoulet de Toulouse and moules frites alongside a great range of steaks, salads and fish dishes.

I visited with a friend for one of the press nights and this is how we got on…

Firstly, we were served a range of starters to try, including:
– Pissaladière (a traditional warm flatbread from Nice) with caramelised onions, Reblochon cheese and parsley and thyme.
– Calamari
– Warm Roquefort Salad (endive, walnut and crouton salad with a warm Roquefort cheese dressing)
– Crab mayonnaise with avocado, cucumber, capers, and tarragon with toasted sourdough bread.

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The two winners for me were the salad – with lovely creamy walnuts and a strong cheese dressing, and the crab mayonnaise – light and tasty with a lovely crunchy sourdough bread.

For mains and desserts, we could order our own choices, and I went for the Roasted Pork Belly with gratin potato, braised Savoy cabbage, apples, thyme and calvados jus, while my dining companion chose the Roast Duck Breast (served pink) with gratin potato and a griottine cherry sauce.

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The presentation was beautiful, portion sizes were just right, and the food was delicious. I was really impressed with my dish, from the piping hot potato gratin on the side to the rich jus that was drizzled on the plate. It was delicious, and something I would definitely order again.

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I feel like this is a great restaurant when dining out with friends or a group of people, as there is something for everyone on the menu. For those less adventurous there are options such as cod goujons with french fries or chargrilled chicken with garlic sauce, while those wanting seafood can tuck into mussels or fish stew. It really does tick all the boxes, but the food presentation and quality is just that little more refined. I’ve already suggested a meal out here with my in laws.

(Also, just to add, Côte Brasserie is also accredited by Coeliac UK and has a gluten free menu, as well as vegetarian options too.)

On to dessert. First, I was really impressed with the array of desserts on the menu – and not a sticky toffee pudding in sight! Chocoholics are well taken care of with the chocolate fondant or chocolate mousse, but there are lots of other options like a crisp apple puff pastry tart, creme caramel, Tarte au Citron and a cheese board.

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I went for the classic Crème Brûlée which was just set with a nice caramelised top – just what it should be. My friend chose the enviable chocolate and praline crêpe with caramelised bananas and crème Chantilly – a fantastic choice for those with a sweet tooth. Both went down a storm.

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We left feeling well fed and well taken care of. The staff were attentive and happy to give recommendations, and also offered jugs of water for the table and toppedthese up when needed.

I thoroughly enjoyed my visit and after spying their set menu of £11.50 for two courses and £13.50 for three courses for a weekday lunch or early-evening dinner, I’m already booking in the babysitters so that MrJ and I can have a date here in the near future.

You can find Côte Brasserie at 120-122 Grainger Street (where the old Barclays bank used to be).

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