Côte Brasserie, Birmingham Mailbox

cote-Birmingham-1-300Quite simply, Cote Brasserie is without doubt one of the nicest restaurants in Birmingham, thanks to stunning food, delightful service, and attention to detail rarely found elsewhere.

As soon as we sat at the table we were brought some mixed olives marinated in olive oil, garlic & herbs. The waitress then brought us a glass of Kir Royale which had just the right measure of cassis so its sweetness cut across the sharp, yet refreshing bite of blanc de blancs brut.

The leaf shaped garlic Fougasse was garnished with parsley and sea salt, grilled to allow the olive oil to sizzle just enough to crisp up the warm bread.

This was an excellent warm up for the meal ahead.

To start, I had seared scallops with a frisée salad, bacon lardons and a warm Puy lentil, tomato and garlic dressing. Each of the flavours working delicately together to compliment the seafood. It was the kind of small dish that you revelled in taking ages to eat, almost tasting the food as if it were fine wine, somewhere in the Alps.

My partner decided she wanted to try their smoked salmon, and came flat on the plate with dill, shallots, baby capers and crème fraîche dressing. This was a more simple starter, but tasted delicious.

After our starters the waitress had recommended her favourite dish on the menu for my vegetarian partner – the risotto. This rice was obviously an import from france, as the grain were absolutely beautiful in texture – very hard to find in English supermarkets. It was flavoured heartily, prepared with grilled asparagus, broad beans, spring onions, courgette, green beans, baby spinach, pesto and rocket.

For my main I had Escalope De Veau, sautéed breaded veal escalope with watercress, lemon and veal jus with a side of frites and some pickled cucumber and dill that was shared, regrettably with my partner.

It isn’t hard to see why this classic canalside restaurant picked up the Good Food Guide award for best value restaurant in the UK last year.

A french masterpiece, a set perfect crème caramel coupled with traditional vanilla pod custard with dark caramel and cream had to be seen to be believed, the flavours delivering a rich sense of indulgence and matched equally by an epic chocolate mousse.

Two cafe au laits, done Parisian style ended the meal wonderfully.

Côte truly is a place to go back to time and time again.

Côte offers a modern approach to classic French dishes such as steak frites, tuna nicoise, moules marinières and corn fed chicken from Languedoc in the heart of rural Brittany.

Awarded ‘Best Value Restaurant in the UK for 2009’ by the Good Food Guide, it’s perfect for a breakfast business meeting or mid-morning break from shopping.

Côte is backed by restaurant entrepreneur Richard Caring, who owns some of the UK’s most highly acclaimed restaurants such as The Ivy, J Sheekey, and Le Caprice in London as well as the Soho House Group and Wentworth Golf Course.

www.cote-restaurants.co.uk/