We visited Côte Brasserie in Shrewsbury and found that it is the perfect venue for a cosy dinner for two.
Life can get hectic at times, and it’s easy to get caught up in the every day routine. So Mark and I try to make sure that we put aside time to chat over dinner every so often.
We love visiting Shrewsbury, with its beautiful medieval town centre full of winding lanes. So when Côte Brasserie asked if I’d like to review their Shrewsbury restaurant, it felt like a great opportunity for us to catch up over a delicious meal and maybe a glass of wine or two.
The restaurant is located right in the Square, right in the heart of Shrewsbury. This means it’s ideally placed for breakfast before a day of shopping, a lazy lunch with friends, or dinner before heading off to the Theatre Severn.
You’ll find Côte Brasserie’s French-inspired restaurants in locations all across Britain, click here to find your nearest location
We visited early on a Saturday evening, and the restaurant was fairly quiet when we arrived. It soon filled up though, so booking ahead is definitely advisable.
After we’d been shown to our table, we took a look at the menus. As you’d expect, it’s full of French classics as well as modern dishes, and there is plenty to tempt you.
And the menu also includes a range of monthly specials, which includes a seasonal cocktail.
As well as the a la carte menu, you can also choose from a reasonably priced set menu, a vegetarian menu and a gluten-free menu. There’s even a selection of plats rapids which are perfect for a quick dinner before you head off to the theatre.
We placed our order and our drinks were brought over to the table together with a complimentary bottle of water. We decided not to order hors d’ouevres, but could have chosen from olives, saucisson and a selection of breads to nibble at while we waited for our starters to arrive.
The Shrewsbury restaurant is quite intimate and has a classic feel to it, with warm lighting and elegant decor.
Mark was driving on the night that we visited, so he stuck to alcohol-free drinks. I decided to start my evening with a glass of champagne – well, surely it would be rude not to in a French restaurant!
The Côte Brasserie wine list features an array of French wines, several of which are available by the glass. You can also choose from aperitifs such as a Kir Royale.
French beers and ciders are also available, as well as a selection of soft drinks.
Our starters arrived fairly quickly, and both looked delicious. Mark had decided to start his meal with a true French classic, French Onion Soup.
It was piping hot, full of sweet onions, and finished with a sourdough toast covered with melting Comte cheese.
Meanwhile, I had chosen an endive salad, topped with pieces of blue cheese, croutons and walnuts.
The warm Roquefort dressing served alongside was both sharp and creamy, and I loved the combination of textures and flavours in this dish.
Other starters on the menu included tuna carpaccio, chicken liver parfait and a charcuterie selection.
After our plates were taken away, there was a short pause before our main courses were brought out. The service at Côte Brasserie was excellent throughout our visit – friendly, relaxed and never rushed.
For my main course, I had selected the fish option from the October special. It featured a beautiful fillet of haddock, which was served with crushed new potatoes, sauteed spinach and a wild mushroom fricassee. The dish was completed with a light Champagne beurre blanc.
This dish was absolutely delicious. The fish was cooked beautifully, flaking apart without any hint of dryness. And the wild mushroom fricassee was packed full of flavour. If I have any criticism, it’s that I would have liked the skin to be crisper, but I may be nit-picking here.
I ordered a glass of Chablis to go with my main course, although I think another glass of champagne would have been an excellent choice as well.
Meanwhile, Mark had picked another French classic for his main course.
His very generous portion of Beef Bourguignon was served with a creamy potato and chive puree alongside. It was packed full of large pieces of slow cooked beef, as well as chunks of carrot, mushrooms and onions.
I stole a piece of beef from Mark’s plate, and it was melt-in-the-mouth tender with a rich glossy sauce.
Other main courses on the menu included steaks, roast duck breast and a yummy-sounding fish parmentier. The vegetarian choices included a Puy lentil stew, spinach and cheddar sausages, and ravioli filled with goat’s cheese, ricotta and walnuts.
We chose two vegetable side dishes to share alongside our main courses, and these were both excellent as well. The glazed carrots were tender and sweet, while the french beans were served with just the right amount of crunch.
And Mark decided to have a Meteor non-alcoholic beer with his main course. This is a French alcohol free beer, with a light and refreshing taste and notes of cereal and honey.
By now the restaurant was full and the air was full of chatter, popping corks and clinking glassware. Côte Brasserie is a popular choice on a Saturday evening in Shrewsbury, and I was definitely starting to see why.
And although we were both feeling quite full after our delicious main courses, we couldn’t resist the dessert menu. But making our selection was harder than I anticipated, because there were so many tempting options!
Should we pick the lemon tart with Normandie cream, or the chocolate crepe filled with caramelised bananas and creme Chantilly? Or should we go for the creme caramel, or perhaps the dark chocolate mousse? Decisions, decisions…
Mark finally settled on the dessert on the October special menu – Pain Perdu. This brioche bread and butter pudding was served with vanilla ice cream and a creamy caramel sauce.
I’d like to be able to tell you what it was like, but I wasn’t offered a taste. That usually means that it was absolutely delicious, and Mark did finish every morsel, so we’ll just have to take his word for it!
I was a little envious when I saw Mark’s pudding, but not for long. Because I had ordered the Côte Brasserie cheese board to finish my meal.
Slices of toothsome sourdough bread and a small dish of grapes accompanied a selection of French cheeses. I have to admit that I pretty much ignored the hard Comté cheese in favour of the blue Roquefort and soft, creamy Reblochon, both of which were served at the perfect temperature.
And I ordered a glass of port to go with my cheese, which was a delicious and satisfying end to my meal.
We both lingered over a coffee to finish what had been a very enjoyable evening, before heading out into the autumn twilight.
This was our first visit to Côte Brasserie, but I’m sure we’ll be back before long!
Our meal was complimentary, but the final bill would have come to just under £89.
This covers three courses plus a side dish for us both, wine, soft drinks and coffees. For a date night, special occasion or just a chance to get away and chat over dinner, I think that is pretty good value.
Côte Brasserie Shrewsbury
14-16 The Square, Shrewsbury, SY1 1JZ