July 22nd, 2013.
I’ve been out for lunch today with my sister, who wanted to do some shopping in central London. The weather forecast said, “Hotter than hell” – so I had a good think about outdoor restaurants. I’d eaten at the Côte Bistro in Highgate recently and been impressed, so I made a reservation at their Covent Garden restaurant for 1pm.
In general I’m not a fan of chain restaurants, but the Côte does live up to its mission statement and it provides a decent set lunch/theatre menu for £11.70:
Our inspiration for the food and design comes from a modern interpretation of the many famous bistros that populate Paris. There has been a resurgence of interest in simple bistro cooking in Paris as locals turn away from expensive and over complicated cooking in formal restaurants to return to the basics of French cuisine.
Of course we went the whole hog and ordered à la carte.
I had some excellent Steak Tartare to start – finely chopped raw beef with shallots, capers, cornichons, egg yolk and cognac, served with toasted sourdough bread. Steak Tartare is not for everyone, but I’d eaten it in their other branch and was very much looking forward to it – it was excellent!
I had Haddock, French beans and fries for my main course. The haddock is hidden beneath the rocket, but it was quite spectacular, wrapped in smoked French bacon and sautéed – served on a pea purée with tomato and chive vinaigrette. The seasoning was perfect.
As it had been my sister’s birthday recently we had a bottle of NV Brut Baron De Marck to keep ourselves cool.
The service was impeccable and we sat at a shaded table outside (though we did arrived early to make sure we got a somewhere cool). In spite of it being Monday and the boiling weather, the restaurant was nearly full inside.
Côte Covent Garden is at: 17 – 21 Tavistock Street, WC2E 7PA