*This meal was free for review purposes from Côte Brasserie. I have dined at Côte on my own dime plenty of times, and would not write about it unless I was happy to recommend to fellow coeliacs.
In many restaurants, the ‘gluten free options’ are meals with an element missing; a burger without a bun, a salad without croutons or a roast without gravy. The same cannot be said for UK chain Côte Brasserie. Their gluten free meals are as good as anything ‘regular’ on the menu, probably due to the fact that there is not a lot of difference between the two. There are always plenty of gluten free options and you don’t feel like you are having a ‘lesser’ meal than anyone else.
I was therefore very happy when Côte invited me to come and review their gluten free Christmas menu. I visited the Bath branch with my friend Sian, and we enthusiastically got to work.
For those that don’t know, I have had some previous involvement with Côte Brasserie. Last year, I was invited to dinner with the CEO. Myself and a handful of other gluten free bloggers sat around a table in Soho and talked about what makes a great coeliac dining experience. We talked about what we love to see on a gluten free menu and how Côte could improve their gluten free offering, a bit like a coeliac focus group. I was really impressed at how interested they were in safely catering to us. The wife of Côte Brasserie’s CEO is coeliac, so he had a genuine understanding and wish to improve things.
I have eaten at Côte several times since on my own £ (their pre-theatre menu is a bargain), and have been really happy to see that they have implemented some of our ideas from this session. It is somewhere that I feel comfortable eating at, which is not an easy or common thing for a coeliac.
So, to the food. (Apologies in advance for the rubbs pictures – it was dark and I have a prehistoric iPhone)
We started with a goats cheese crottin for me, and a prawn and avocado cocktail for Sian.
We both had duck confit a l’orange for main.
For pudding, I had the dark chocolate mousse, Sian had the creme brulee.
Oh, and a fair amount of french wine.
The food was lovely. Good quality french bistro food. I particularly enjoyed the goats cheese, and the dark chocolate mousse is a favourite. I always find the service good at Côte, but this time the staff were extra attentive – perhaps because they knew I was a blogger ;). They lose one point for having fruit salad as one of their three gluten free dessert options. ‘YAY, another fruit salad!’ – said no coeliac, ever. (#fruitisnotapudding). In general though, I think their gluten free offering is great.
I would say that though their Christmas menu is lovely, it is not dissimilar from their normal menu. If you want to try the gluten free food at Côte Brasserie at a cheaper price, I would recommend going at lunch or pre-theatre (£10.95 for two courses – boom)*. If however, you are going as part of a festive work/friend outing, it is a really great gluten free Christmas option. You can view Côte’s gluten free Christmas menu in full here.
Many thanks to Côte Brasserie for inviting me to try their new menu, we had a really enjoyable meal.
*This meal was free for review purposes from Côte brasserie. I have dined at Côte on my own dime plenty of times, and would not write about it unless I was happy to recommend to fellow coeliacs.
*This price applies in restaurants outside of London, inside London it appears to be £12.50 for two courses.