Last Saturday Matt and I were invited to dinner at Cote Brasserie in the Mailbox, Birmingham. The restaurant was described to me as the jewel in the Mailbox's crown and having never been there before we jumped at the chance.
If you hadn't guessed from the name it is a French brasserie with several others dotted around the country. This location is perfect with the canal literally steps outside the door and neighbours some great bars for after dinner drinks.
When we were seated we were bought a bottle of the house filtered water whilst browsing the wine and food menu.
Matt opted to order a bottle of French Sauvignon for us both and here is what we had to eat.....
The saucisson sec as a little nibble, my favourite cured meat with cornichons.
My starter was the Boudin Noir, a creamy soft black pudding served with a perfectly poached egg and apples. I could eat this every day, simply divine.
Matt ordered the Scottish smoked salmon with capers, shallots, dill and creme fraiche which arrived with some toasted crusty bread.
My rare 7oz fillet steak was melt in the mouth, so soft and I spread the Roquefort butter over which melted into a strong creamy glaze. The frites were crisp and although I didn't eat much of the watercress it was a nice to have a little green on the plate. The beef was 30 day aged Hereford cattle and chargrilled to perfection.
Matt chose the lamb rump cooked medium, served with roasted vegetables, new potatoes and veal jus. I had a little taster of this and the lamb was succulent, sweet and meltingly soft, a very good choice!
I was absolutely full after my main course but really wanted to sample a pudding so chose the slightly lighter option of frozen berries with warm white chocolate sauce. The perfect decision for anyone wanting something refreshing yet sweet to finish their meal.
Matt had the Cote pudding special, their creme caramel. Oh my gosh I have never tried anything that comes close to this. A traditional set vanilla custard with dark caramel sauce and a drizzle of cream. This was so indulgent and rich with the dark caramel adding a hint of bitter and sweet, i'll be dreaming about this for a while.
The restaurant is modern yet cosy, the flooring and tables feel authentic and the level of service was superb. Leslie who served us during the evening really knew the menu inside out and revealed they taste the menu and wines every two weeks to really get to know and recommend to their customers.
My only suggestion would be to make more use of the great location outside. There is a good amount of outside seating and dining tables and it would be great to have some outside heaters and blankets where you could wrap up in the colder evenings when you might not want a meal or have a table booked whilst enjoying a glass of wine and maybe one of the creme caramels ....
Promise me if you visit, that you'll order one!
You'll find the restaurant here on the canalside of the Mailbox 0121 6311587 and more locations here Cote restaurants