Featured Restaurant

Cote Brasserie - Guildford

35 Castle Street, Guildford, GU1 3UQ

Part of a small but perfectly formed group of French bistros, Côte Brasserie received the accolade of 'Best value restaurant in the UK' in the 2009 Good Food Guide, which, at a time when price trimming is the name of the game, must be quite some achievement, and their branch in Guildford is no exception to their general rule. Founded on the resurgence of interest in simple bistro cooking and as prevailing taste swings away from expensive and over-complicated cooking in restaurants, Côte goes for the classic dishes within an informal and friendly atmosphere. The Guildford Côte opened in April 2009, open all day for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as any decent bistro should be, serving the neighbourhood as a first priority.

Part of a small but perfectly formed group of French bistros, Côte Brasserie received the accolade of 'Best value restaurant in the UK' in the 2009 Good Food Guide, which, at a time when price trimming is the name of the game, must be quite some achievement, and their branch in Guildford is no exception to their general rule. Founded on the resurgence of interest in simple bistro cooking and as prevailing taste swings away from expensive and over-complicated cooking in restaurants, Côte goes for the classic dishes within an informal and friendly atmosphere.

The Guildford Côte opened in April 2009, open all day for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as any decent bistro should be, serving the neighbourhood as a first priority. In fine weather, it is worth knowing that they have a sunny outside terrace with views of the Castle.

Appetisers include pissaladière, delightful warm flatbread from Nice with caramelised onions and a choice of either anchovies, olives and parsley or Reblochon cheese and thyme. Mussels cooked in white wine can be taken as a starter or main course, and other starters could offer coarsely shredded duck and pork paté, breadcrumbed squid sautéed in garlic, or the ever popular steak tartare.

In the world of restaurant menus there is increasingly a short but attractive range of light mains, and Côte is no exception with a tuna Niçoise making a highly attractive dish with the addition of French beans, cherry tomatoes, black olives, peppers, new potatoes, egg, baby gem lettuce and red onion.

One of Côte's principal attractions is to have created a menu that prompts the customers to feel that what they'd really like to do is work their way through the entire menu which, whilst it may cause some consternation is undoubtedly the best option to have, if not to take. Consider steak haché for instance, char-grilled spiced chopped rump steak with frites and a cornichon and tomato relish, or Poulet Breton, corn fed chicken from rural Brittany, with an enticing choice of garlic butter or sauces.

Steaks at Côte start with a 7oz fillet, or 10oz rib-eyes and sirloin, char-grilled and served naturally with frites. Let's assume that you follow the French custom and insert a cheese course between the main and the desserts, be prepared for well kept Roquefort and Reblochon before tackling a chocolate fondant with vanilla ice cream, or an outstanding crème caramel, a speciality of the house.

The supposition that a bistro which styles itself on the real thing should have a French wine list is by no means unreasonable, and Côtes does it with panache. Perfectly straightforward it plays much the same trick as the menu and as you flick through the list you are confronted with hard choices. Many are under the £20 mark, but there are excellent alternatives above that, and eight champagnes currently including a 2003 Henriot.

If I had to choose one word to sum up Côte I think it would have to be thoroughly genuine. Yes, I know that's two, but it underlines the difficultly of only making it in one. Do check their Website for menu changes and reservations.

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French

: 08:00 - 23:00
: 09:00 - 23:00
: 09:00 - 22:30

Reservations: 01483 579714

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35 Castle Street, Guildford, GU1 3UQ [Map]

£20.00    £28.00

£9.95 (2 courses) to £11.90 (3 courses), Mon - Fri, £9.95 (roast chicken/steak frites), Sat - Sun

£9.95 (2 courses) to £11.90 (3 courses), Mon - Fri, pre 7 pm, £9.95 (roast chicken/steak frites), Sat, pre 6 pm, Sun

(Avg Price is the average cost per person for two courses, coffee, half a bottle of house wine and tip/service)

REVIEWS OF Cote Brasserie - Guildford

Dollydouse (3 March 2010)

I have eaten in Cote on two occasions now, and both times I have been very pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food. I had the set menu at lunch both times. The moules were to die for, as was the main course of steak frites. There really is nowhere as good, or as inexpensive as this, in Guildford. I highly recommend it and also the atmosphere and surroundings are delightful; do go there.

Tessa (18 February 2010)

I've eaten here twice and really enjoyed the food both times. The atmosphere is great and staff attentive. Good value for a Sunday lunch.

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