Monday 26 August 2019

Côte Brasserie & the All New Children's Menu

(Complimentary meal for the purpose of review - see disclaimer)

Dining out with Joshua is something we love to do. We've taken him to restaurants from such a young age which we really think has helped him get used to eating out and being so well-behaved. I have zero restaurant fear him nowadays because he is always such a joy and it's a great way to introduce him to different foods he may not eat at home. It also helps that he's brilliant with food so we know if we put something a little different in front of him, he'll give it a go which is why the new children's menu at Côte Brasserie is such a breath of fresh air.

There's not a chicken nugget in sight and honestly? It's great to see.

Côte Brasserie doesn't have a site in Southampton but they do in Portsmouth and Winchester so we headed to Winchester for a sunny stroll around the cathedral followed by lunch. The restaurant is situated on the high street so it's the perfect location for a bite to eat between shopping and soaking up the history. Winchester was once the capital of England and Winchester Cathedral is one of the largest cathedrals in Europe so it's a really great town to visit and one of my favourites for delicious food and kitsch coffee shops. 

We'd booked for 1pm on a Wednesday afternoon and the restaurant was full when we walked in but that didn't take away from the service at all. We were met and seated by Seb who found somewhere to tuck the pushchair away and get a highchair for Joshua before talking through the allergen menu with me. 

The all-new children's menu launched just a few weeks ago and is filled with delicious delights such as Calamari, warmed sourdough and Burgundian Sausage. Two courses cost £6.50 while three courses are £7.95 which I felt was really reasonable for what was available. Joshua had sourdough and olives while we were waiting for starters followed by Calamari which he wasn't too keen on but gave it a go as well as linguine as a main which was the vegan option. You could also choose from Croque Monsieur, Grilled Chicken with Gratin Potato, Sausage & Mash or Haddock Goujons.

The children's portion sizes were really generous too!

We visited with my Mum and Sister so we were all able to enjoy a beautiful meal together. The service was brilliant from the get-go, drinks were prompt and we were checked upon regularly but not intrusively. We ordered from the lunchtime and standard menu so we could try a bit of everything and we had absolutely no complaints.

The Chicken Liver Pate with spiced apple chutney was tasty although I think it would've been better on toasted crisp bread rather than brioche. Emily ordered the Zucchini Fritti served with a mayonnaise verte. I couldn't help but pinch a couple of these!

We all ordered different mains so we could get a real feel for the menu. I ordered Roasted Seabass, one of my favourite dishes and it was incredible. Paired with braised fennel and champagne beurre blanc with chives and tomato plus a side of gratin potatoes, it was so enjoyable and cooked to perfection. Emily opted for the Steak Frites, the steak was cooked perfectly and tasted even better while Mum ordered the Roasted Pork Tenderloin which was presented beautifully and was totally mouthwatering - I made her give me a bit for research for this post (haha)!

By the end of the mains the plates were pretty much cleared, Joshua was covered in tomato sauce which I'm taking as a good sign and we all enjoyed ours so much that we're hoping to head back again soon. 

Plates were cleared away quickly which left us a chance to peruse the dessert menu! The children's menu comes with three options, a choice of three different ice creams, chocolate pot or french yoghurt. Joshua was unable to try any of these due to his allergy so the waiter found him a raspberry sorbet he could eat instead which was so kind of them. Everyone we came into contact with was totally on the ball with allergens which meant I could relax and enjoy my meal knowing Joshua was completely catered for. 

The dessert menu was pretty impressive and had a lot more choices than I was expecting. I ordered the Chocolate Fondant with a melt-in-the-middle centre and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It was bouncy, rich in flavour and absolutely delicious. I'm not sure I'd ever be able to order anything else now I've tried this although Emily's Creme Brulee looked rather yummy. 

We all thoroughly enjoyed our time at Côte Brasserie and as mentioned above, would go back again. It was so nice to be able to go to a restaurant that was clearly well loved and busy, have incredible service and delicious food and not worry about allergens while keeping a toddler happy. 

There was such an array of choices on the menus and the children's menu totally impressed me. All too often you see the usual burger and chips, nuggets and chips and not a vegetable in sight for children so Côte Brasserie's latest offering gets top marks for me. 

I want to be able to feed my child delicious, nutritious meals if we eat out and Côte Brasserie has nailed it and I can't wait to visit again. Have you eaten at Côte Brasserie before? I've heard some great reviews from you all on my Instagram! 

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