Cote Brasserie, Ealing
Côte Brasserie is 'a smart, Parisian-inspired affair'

Côte Brasserie

Open Mon–Fri 8am–midnight, Sat 9am–11pm, Sun 9am–10.30pm

The duo behind the Italian chain Strada are also behind the fast-expanding French bistro chain, Côte Brasserie, so if you haven’t visited a branch yet you soon will. I headed to the Ealing branch where friendly staff waited for us just beyond the curtained entrance.

It’s a smart, Parisian-inspired affair with moody blue-grey artwork, dark leather banquettes, tiled floor and polished dark wood, plenty of mirrors and just-right lighting – lots of flickering tea lights and dimmed lamps. I’ve yet to see a branch of Côte that isn’t busy – groups of 30-somethings and older friends, plus couples filled the tables during our visit.

The menu is classic and simple with an equally French drinks list. My friend went for a beer from an independent French brewery, Meteor (£3. 70) while I had a glass (or two) of Château Du Poyet 2010 (£4.70 for 175ml). We started with so-so olives and a basket of warm, freshly-baked sourdough baguette. My homemade roast vine tomato soup with thyme (£4.50) arrived in a huge bowl – good, but nothing to write home about while my friend’s moules marinières (£5.95) were small (‘but shouldn’t be judged on their size,’ he quipped) arrived in a too-rich sauce which invited bread dipping.

My vegetarian risotto also arrived in a huge bowl and looked like ‘a garden compost,’ according to the friend, whose 10oz sirloin steak (£16.50; from 30-day aged Hereford beef) arrived just as he’d asked – medium rare – with a creamy peppercorn sauce (£1.95), rocket  and crispy frites. For dessert, we shared a very good tarte fine aux pommes (£5.15) with ice cream and had a glass each of muscat (£3.75).

Côte Brasserie plays it safe. There isn’t anything on the menu that wows, but it doesn’t get anything wrong either. What’s more, it’s very affordable, staff are efficient and I left feeling tipsy, having had a good evening out with a friend.

Weekday lunch and early evening menu (midday–7pm): two course £9.95; three courses £11.90. Weekend special (Sat midday–6pm, Sun midday–10.30pm) 1/2 roast chicken or steak frites £9.95.

Côte Brasserie, 9–10 The Green, High Street, London, W5;; 020 8579 3115

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