Is there a better way to spend a sunny, warm, early summer afternoon than joining the cafe culture set and enjoying lunch with a cold drink in hand?
Well, we were semi-al fresco, just inside the still very new and pristine Côte Brasserie restaurant in Church Street with the bifold doors wide open, offering a great view of St John’s Church and the world going by.
More importantly it offers a great dining experience in very comfortable surroundings.
People might have scoffed at the £1million price tag put on the refurbishment of a former bank, but it oozes class. Very comfortable seating, stylish cutlery and crockery, I loved the grey and black colour scheme and there is lots of wood -flooring and panelling -and mirrors to complete the look.
It wasn’t my first visit, having sampled the full a la carte offering shortly after the restaurant opened in May. It didn’t come cheap, so lunchtime was an opportunity to see if a more affordable option had any affect on the experience.
In a word, no.
The lunchtime set menu (it is actually available until 7pm weekdays) still has plenty to offer and all representative of the full menu.
With designs on three courses, we skipped olives and bread nibbles and I started with salt cod croquettes, and very nice they were, too.
The coating was nice and crisp , with the filling having a subtle fishy taste and the fried breadcrumbs delicious. Just great with the peppery rocket and thick, creamy red pepper aioli.
Donna had a very simple but refreshing and palate cleansing heritage salad; soft and juicy tomatoes, olives, basil, shallots and croutons.
I had had a few recommendations for the steak frites (a £2 supplement) - so I decided to put it to the test and wasn’t disappointed.
No, it wasn’t a big, thick, juicy ribeye (my steak of choice) but it was cooked a treat, with a slowly melting dollop of garlic butter on top, packed plenty of flavour, especially from the griddling of the extremely tender and pink beaten out minute steak, and the frites were thin and crispy as expected.
If I am honest, Donna’s main looked a little lost on the plate, but these are lunchtime servings and there are side dishes available . That said the sea bream fillet was nicely cooked and she loved the combination with the pickled cucumber and the dill Hollandaise sauce
My peach crumble was adorable - a soft and sweet fruit compote with a lovely hint of cinnamon or nutmeg - and the iced berries with hot white chocolate sauce was another winner.
The service was once again top notch and £12.95 for three courses, what more can I say?
BRAD’S RATING 9
RESTAURANT DETAILS: Côte Brasserie, Church Street, Peterborough tel 01733 306352 - www.cote-restaurants.co.uk
FROM THE MENU:
Pea and Mint Soup.
Heritage Tomato Salad.
Salt Cod Croquettes.
Baby Gem, Bacon and Egg Salad.
Roast Sea Bream fillet.
Ratatouille en Feuilleté.
Chargrilled Chicken Breast.
Butternut Squash Cake.
Chicken and Roquefort Salad.
Dark Chocolate Pot.
Iced Berries with white chocolate sauce.
Crumble aux Pêche.
Ice Creams and Sorbets.
£10.95 for two courses, £12.95 for three courses.