Working in recruitment can be a tough slog, but for me, there are two main things that keep me going and make it all worthwhile (and it isn’t the pay!) Joke, Simon. The first is that tummy twirling, fist pumping feeling when one of my amazing candidates gets the job and the second is getting invited to menu launches and pre-opening trial days, where we get to sample our client’s delicious food and assess their service! As mentioned in my last review – I do love food…. And even better if it’s a freebie!
On Monday of last week I was invited along to the pre-opening of the brand sparkling, new Cote Restaurant in Edinburgh’s Fredrick Street. I was really excited to attend this one as I have recently placed their new Assistant General Manager there. I booked a wee table for 4 and took along Richie- the boyf, his mama Mary and sis Angela.
Upon arriving at Cote, you can see from its exterior that it’s upmarket, slick and understated. Unlike its Café Rouge neighbour, Cote has an air of class that Café Rouge seems to lack. We were greeted by a stunningly beautiful host who explained what the evening was all about and shown to our table. I found the décor inside to be dark and intimate – especially in our booth right in the centre of the restaurant. Would be perfect for a wee candle lit dinner if you fancied getting all amorous! Moving on…… We were then introduced to the lovely ‘Michael’ who took our drinks orders and recommended the Kir Royale aperitif – Would be rude not. Richie also ordered a Meteor Blonde beer, which is exclusive to Cote. Oor Michael was quick to show off his knowledge!
Whist waiting for drinks we perused the menu and each chose something different as per the rules of the evening. Drinks were ready in under five minutes and arrived with our bread and olives to devour whilst waiting on food. No side plates or knives – but hey, this is a training session –we took a wee note and left it on the comment cards.
For starters I ordered the Prawn Gratinee – which was absolutely exquisite. King prawns with garlic and chilli. Just enough kick to leave my mouth thirsty for another Kir Royale! The prawns were huge, juicy and super fresh! Loved it! 10/10 Cote !
Richie ordered charcuterie board – which was beautifully presented, tasty and fresh, but lacked a little in ‘moisture’ – no butter for the bread or olive oil/ balsamic for the side salad. Still, intense flavours and textures earned this dish a modest 8/10
Mary had the Chicken Liver Parfait with Brioche and spiced apple chutney. The consistency of the pate was smooth and moreish, and the apple chutney was perfect to cut through the richness of the dish. We needed more bread though! – Too much pate for the two bits of toasted bread you get! 8/10
Next up Angela’s Crab Mayonnaise starter – this was my personal favourite. A real cool, clean dish – perfect for the summer! 10/10
Our table was cleared and we ordered some more drinks – Could see myself getting really get into this ‘Monday club’!
Our drinks and meal came together – and wow- these dishes were beautiful. A Breton stew – fish stew for those as clueless as me, Rump of lamb, fillet steak and the corn fed chicken. Presentation was spot on and the aroma’s coming from the dishes was mouth watering.
The Breton stew was excellent – I’m a massive fan of seafood and this was warming, tasty and just the right portion size. Only complaint was the size of the mussels – they were tiny and I do love a meaty mussel! However the overall taste was beautiful and light. 8/10
Richie opted for the corn fed chicken ( reared in the heart of Brittany, no less!) – fabulous portion sizes – Really succulent. Nice wee ‘pot’ of fries on the side too and everything seasoned well. 9/10
Mary opted for lamb – this was the stand out dish, cooked ‘pink’ served with jersey potatoes and asparagus. Her plate was ‘licked’ clean. Need I say more! 10/10
Angela struck lucky and got to sample the 7oz fillet – with peppercorn sauce. All Cote steak are 30day aged grain fed cattle! Again, cannot fault the dish at all. Steak cooked beautifully with the peppercorn sauce with just the right amount of kick. The meat was melt in the mouth. 9/10!
Considering we were at a pre-opening trial – The staff were knowledgeable, confident and well prepared for our questions. They looked immaculate in their traditional French style, long length ‘pinnies’ and really went out of their way to make our night enjoyable to say the least.
Good luck, guys. I hope the people of Edinburgh love it as much as us ‘Weedgies’ did. Thank you for allowing us a sneak preview…….
CÔTE BRASSERIE – EDINBURGH
51 Frederick Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1LH
Tel: 0131 202 6256
Celebrating the grand ocean voyages of the 1920s and 30s from Glasgow to New York. The Anchor Line is set in the stunning and completely restored grade A1 listed first class booking offices at 12–16 St Vincent Place.
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Dawn Looks after our Glasgow office and covers the North of England and the ever emerging Scottish hospitality scene. Check out the latest catering and hospitality jobs Dawn is recruiting for here.