Review: Côte Brasserie

Côte offer a modern interpretation of the many famous bistros in Paris. Inspired by new trends, they are dedicated to serving authentic classic brasserie dishes with a modern twist, using high quality produce at great prices.

They offer an A La Carte menu, specials and a set menu.  They are situated all over the country and the one in Exeter is on the Cathedral Green with fantastic views of the cathedral.

As soon as we arrived we were greeted by their friendly staff and shown to our table.  Our waitress was really friendly, happy and attentive to us and made us feel really welcome and looked after.

To start off, I went with Chicken Liver Parfait; a chicken liver pâté with toasted brioche and spiced apple chutney.  It was presented really well with the parfait in its own jar and served on a board.  The parfait was really smooth and full of flavour and went so well with the brioche and zesty and sweet apple chutney, I really really enjoyed each mouthful.

Nick went for Calamari, as he so often does if it is on the menu. It was breadcrumbed squid sautéed in garlic, lemon and parsley with tartar sauce. At the time of writing this post, he said it was the best calamari he has ever eaten!  It can so often be cooked badly and have the texture of a rubber band, but this was tender, soft and perfectly cooked. The tartar went really well with the squid, making it a perfect starter.

We also had some Pissaladière which is a traditional warm flatbread from Nice with caramelised onions, Reblochon cheese, parsley and thyme.  This was really nice with the cheese and caramelised onions complementing each other perfectly.

Nick eventually decided to go for the Seafood linguine, after much deliberation. Linguine pasta with tiger prawns, mussels, clams and squid sautéed in garlic, chilli, shallots, white wine and cherry tomatoes. Made with fresh pasta and seafood and a generous portion, Nick said he really enjoyed this.  It was packed with seafood and served with some parmisan. The squid was as perfect as the starter, and you could really tell how fresh the muscles were. The king prawns had a glorious orange glow to them.

I went for pan roasted pork belly with a potato, crème fraîche and chive purée, caramelised apples and Calvados jus. This was really nice and the pork had lovely crisp crackling. The potatoes were so smooth and fluffy and the Calvados jus was full of flavour.  I really enjoyed this, but my only criticism would be that there was very little actual meat on the pork, but what was there was delicious.

To go with our mains we have some leaf shaped garlic bread with parsley and sea salt.  This was really nice as well, and clearly freshly baked and complemented both of our mains.

Côte has an extensive wine menu which shows an in-depth knowledge and features wines from a variety of producers across France; yet is reasonably priced. I was concerned that the portion sizes may be small, but they were just right and left us both feeling satisfyingly full afterwards.  Having never eaten here before I was really impressed at both the food and the service, and if you get the opportunity to go there I suggest you capture it with both hands. It was really busy as we went on a Saturday evening and while it was really loud this gave it a great atmosphere, and you can't beat the views overlooking the cathedral!

Food ***** Service ***** Atmosphere *****

L x