Cote – relaxed, all day dining at this authentic French Brasserie in the centre of Edinburgh
A true taste of French cuisine arrived in Edinburgh this summer, and from guest comments, it’s been a trail-blazing success. Within days of opening, there was a buzz about it, after friends rushed along to check it and quickly passed on ecstatic recommendations.
Cote, a modern, French-style, city-dining initiative was created in 2007 by clothing-turned-hospitality entrepreneur Richard Caring. Today the casual all-day dining concept has developed into a collection of over 70 Brasseries across the UK.
At the address of the former Aga shop, it is quite in keeping that now, instead of traditional stoves for country houses, there is a real kitchen here creating a feast of classic French dishes.
First, you can expect the warmest of welcomes at the Host desk and escorted to your table in one of three separate Salons – the front area, a smaller narrow central hall or through the back with its spacious dining room, all furnished with dark burgundy-brown leather chairs and banquette seating.
The walls are painted in soft, subtle shades of grey enhanced with gold. Outside, there are tables on the pavement patio which was doing a roaring trade on this lovely day and right through the Festival.
Setttled in our booth, as Ken and I studied the menus (A la carte, Lunch/ Early Evening and Specials), we were immediately brought a ceramic flagon of ice cold water. The attention to personal service continued in this fashion throughout our meal. For my starter, I selected Calamari followed by Moules Frites while over the table the order was for Tuna Rillettes, and Butternut Squash Cake with a poached egg – both from the set price Lunch menu.
We sipped a glass of ice cold Blanc de Blanc Brut – which is also offered as Kir Royale with Cassis. At around 2.30 in the afternoon, the place is still buzzing with locals and city visitors with a relaxed ambience due to the laid back jazz music on the soundtrack.
The Calamari was served on a wooden board accompanied by a green salad and tartare sauce: superb, crispy squid sauted in garlic and lemon. Ken enjoyed the flakes of Tuna, in an onion and mustard sauce, served with toasted sourdough. From an extensive wine list (12 served by the glass), we selected Lagarde Blanc, described as fresh, green apple and citrus fruit. Deliciously crisp and light.
Next, my freshly steamed, juicy, tender Mussels in white wine, cream and garlic, were perfectly cooked and accompanied by thin straw fries.
The Butternut Squash cake was like a veggie burger, served with a spinach salad, mustard sauce and a poached egg with the yolk drizzling over the veggie “cake”. Yummy!
The Desserts all sound yummy if you have a sweet tooth – Chocolate Pot, Creme Caramel, Peach Crumble, Ice Creams. Instead we enjoyed a glass of Belgian Jenever, a juniper-instilled liqueur with a delectable honeyed flavour of apples and pears. With our digestif, we sipped a strong, hot double espresso served in tiny glasses, with a jug of hot milk on the side.
Other dishes from the extensive and appetising menus include French Onion Soup, Steak Tartare, Breton Fish Stew, Escalope de Veau, plus Ribeye, Sirloin and Fillet steak.
Prices are excellent value – two courses easily to be sampled under £ 20. The Lunch and Early Evening menu is brilliantly priced at £10.95 (2 courses), £12.95, (3). With Blanc de Blanc at just £4.25/£ 22.50, house wine from under £ 16 a bottle, as well as a superlative wine list, phone a few friends and plan a meal here soon.
Visit Cote for Le Petit Dejener too!. Coffee and croissants, French Toast, Scrambled egg, Bacon Baguette, Eggs Bendedict/Royale/Florentine and much else besides.
Since opening in the summer, 2016, Cote in Edinburgh has received excellent on line comments from their happy customers. Just browse a few of these below to see that I am not the only fan.
51 Frederick Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1LH
0131 202 6256
Monday to Friday 8am – 11pm
Saturday 9am – 11pm
Sunday 9am – 10:30pm
5 star reviews from recent diners ..
Unhurried, professional staff .. the food was outstanding without any caveats. Chicken chasseur, the moules provençale, and pot au chocolat All these were on the fixed price menu. Rosé wine was also excellent.
Great service, great food. Really welcoming, nice feel to the place. Food was perfect.
Best mussels and seafood linguine.
Fabulous and really great value .. very impressed and would highly recommend this restaurant for food, service and ambience.
Reliably good food, excellent staff – what more could you want? We were in Edinburgh for the Festival and by far the easiest decision we made was to eat at Cote every night. We were never bored, always delighted. You will be too.