I’ve generally found that Cote Brasserie doesn’t let you down, so having discounted Rick Stein as his more reasonable set meal finished at 6.30pm, we opted for “Cote”:https://www.cote.co.uk/restaurant/winchester/ in Winchester’s High Street.
It was relatively quiet on a Tuesday night and although I usually find something on the set menu to entice me, this time, I didn’t and so we chose a main each from the a la carte: beef bourguignon and fish parmentier. To start, we opted for a shared pissaladière anchovy: a reasonably sized piece of crisp flatbread, pre-cut into strips making it easy to eat and full of lovely salty flavours from the anchovies and black olives and sweet ones from the caramelised onions. Our mains both excelled with discernible chunks of salmon, cod, haddock and huge prawns in a white wine sauce which appeared thin to start with, but soon melded into the fluffy mashed potato on top. The beef was succulent, and the smoky lardons gave the dish an earthy flavour. On a cold March evening, they were warming and so hearty that I couldn’t manage my favourite Cote pudding – a chocolate pot. We had a bottle of house white and the bill came to £57.
The excellent service cooled a little after 9pm when there was a changing of the guard and either less staff or less attentive ones. Still it didn’t detract from our meal. And finally, I’m happy to share the detailed arrangements, including menus, for the wedding of Helen and Dave who were sat nearby loudly regaling one set of parents.