Cote Brasserie is the newest addition to Regent Court which is becoming Leamington’s go to place when you want a catch up with friends, cocktails or a great family meal. We’re great fans of French food so when we had the opportunity to spend a rare child free evening chatting over a glass or two of wine accompanied by some great food we decided to spend it at Cote Brasserie.
The interior reminds me of some of the lovely little restaurants I’ve visited in Paris, simple comfortable furniture, traditional décor featuring lots of wood and mirrors, low lighting and beautiful glazed tiles. Even though this is a chain you quickly forget this as soon as you step through the door.
Some little touches really stood out for us during our visit, for me I liked having two hooks on the back of the toilet door so you could hang a jacket or cardigan and your handbag, the toilets were spacious with good lighting which is always needed when you have a restaurant that can take a lot of covers.
The tables were spaced very well, you know they can be moved together if you’re with a large party but they are far enough apart so you’re not imposing on anyone. If you’re celebrating a special occasion there are some lovely little booths for a more intimate dining experience.
One thing that stood out for both of us was that Cote Brasserie had one member of staff who carried the food from the kitchen to the waiting staff, placed the food down then walked away leaving the front of house member of staff to go through the dish and answer any questions. Both Mr Gourmand and I have worked in restaurants before and we know how difficult it can be to be out front and in the kitchen, you don’t want food standing but you don’t want customers to be waiting on tables for dishes to be moved so having this member of staff who acts as a go-between is a genius idea.
The restaurant had a great atmosphere and even though it was a Monday night when we visited which is usually a quiet night there were families, work colleagues, friends and couples all enjoying a meal in this vibrant eatery.
We were given a complementary glass of Kir Royal £4.95 to drink while we perused the menu which of late has become a task taking well over 15 minutes as I’ve become incredibly indecisive when faced with a menu which has several dishes I would like to eat.
As I had ordered duck for my main course I decided to have a glass of Cotes Du Rhone £5.75 and Mr Gourmand went for the Sauvignon Blanc £5.45 to accompany his fish. While we waited for our starters to arrive we tucked in to some of the mixed olives marinated in garlic, olive oil and herbs £2.50 which were incredibly delicious and highly recommended. The green olives had a mild garlicky flavour to them and the black olives had the most incredible woody/earthy flavour that I’ve never tasted before.
It’s probably no surprise to regular readers that my choice of starter was the Chicken liver parfait £5.95 which was served with toasted brioche and spiced apple chutney.
I say this all the time but there is nothing worse than ordering a pate or parfait and finding you have run out of bread/toast/crackers before you have finished. There was a really good sized portion of parfait in the glass jar and thankfully there was the perfect amount of brioche to go with it. Having said that I would have been more than happy with the pot of parfait and a spoon on this occasion, it was so incredibly delicious that I wasn’t really happy about offering a taste to Mr Gourmand.
Mr Gourmand didn’t surprise me with his choice of starter, torn between the Boudin Noir £6.50 and the Prawn Gratinee £7.50 the Boudin Noir prevailed.
Sautéed French black pudding served with caramelised apples, a frisee salad and topped with a poached egg, this was food heaven for Mr Gourmand.
Both starters were incredibly good value for money unlike some restaurants where they believe less is more (it isn’t).
I very rarely order duck from a menu but while we were chatting we were talking about this blog in it’s current form and I spoke about one of the first dishes I ever published which was Duck in a port and cherry sauce I remembered that it had been a long time since I’ve had duck cooked really well and couldn’t resist the opportunity to order it.
My Roast Duck breast £14.50 was served pink and accompanied by gratin potato which is one of my all time favourite ways to serve potato. The cherry sauce worked incredibly well with the duck which was cooked to perfection.
Whenever there is fish on the menu there is an 85% chance that Mr Gourmand will order it so you can imagine my surprise when he mentioned that he quite fancied a salad. Say what? A salad? You have all of these delicious meals on the menu and you want to order a salad? Not that there is anything wrong with salad and I’m sure the salad that Cote Brasserie serves is delicious but we have salad at home 3-4 nights a week.
Thankfully Mr Gourmand saw the error of his ways and decided to order the Roast Seabass £13.95 which was served with braised fennel and a champagne beurre blanc. Mr Gourmand isn’t the biggest fan of fennel as it’s flavour is usually very overpowering but on this occasion the flavour was just right, not too strong and went incredibly well with the fish.
I’m a savoury girl and to be honest would much rather have another starter at dessert time which is a bit odd I know but that’s just how my taste buds work. Don’t get me wrong I do like sweet puddings but I prefer to eat them hours after a main course or just have a mouthful of someone else’s dish. After explaining to the staff about my blue cheese allergy I was presented with the most delicious looking cheese board £6.50 which was served with French bread, grapes, Reblochon and Comte cheese. Like the starter I would have been happy to sit with a plate of Reblochon and a knife and I would have been in my element, it’s one of my favourite cheeses, so mild, creamy and nutty – Delicious.
There was only one contender on the menu for Mr Gourmand, Crème Caramel £5.50 is his favourite and it wasn’t surprising to see that it was also the Cote Brasserie speciality dessert. I did have a little spoonful and the dessert was spectacular, no guesses that it didn’t last long on the plate!
Mr Gourmand and I have been on a bit of a health kick since December and we have changed the way we eat alongside incorporating fitness into our lifestyle so we can lose weight, eating rich food like this can make you feel incredibly full very quickly so when the Manager of the restaurant Joe offered us a complementary pear digestif it was most welcomed.
I think this picture says it all about our visit! Mouth-watering delicious.
If you’re thinking of paying the Leamington Spa branch of Cote Brasserie a visit you can find them at 3 Regent Court, Livery Street, Leamington Spa, CV32 4NG.
*Meal and drinks were complementary