To celebrate National Vegetarian Week, I was kindly invited by the team at Côte Brasserie to check out their new vegetarian and vegan menu. It had been a while since I visited a Côte, and I seem to remember my previous visit (when I was veggie not vegan) there were no marked ‘vegetarian’ options, which meant I had to give my best go at guessing the meals I had chosen were suitable. To be fair to them, French cuisine isn’t renowned for being vegetarian friendly! It was therefore really great to hear that they’ve launched a separate, vegetarian and vegan friendly menu to satisfy those that follow a meat-free diet, but also meat reducers.
Charlie, my mum, and I headed over to our local Côte Brasserie in Cambridge, it’s a lovely location just by the river and the decor and vibe is very Parisian, as you might expect!
At first glance, the menu seemed pretty good. Although it’s clear there is more of a vegetarian focus, I could spy a few different vegan starters and mains, and it’s always nice to have a choice! For starters, both my mum and I opted for Ratatouille Tartine, this consists of vegan cheese, capers, rocket and fresh basil on sourdough bread. This was delicious, and I was surprised to find out the cheese they use is Sheese as it tasted so cheese like. I’ve since gone on to buy this cheese to recreate a similar dish at home. I was impressed with this and also pleased that they offered a vegan cheese alternative. Charlie opted for the seasonal soup of the day which he throughly enjoyed. A great start to the meal!
Next up, mains! There are nine vegetarian mains in total, two of which are vegan. Both the Risotto Vert and Puy Lentil Stew are suitable for vegans, and we decided to go for the Risotto Vert, while Charlie picked the Sausages with Sarladaise Potatoes. The Risotto was very nice, and very filling, although I had wished I’d gone for the Puy Lentil Stew but the decision at the time was too tough! I’ll have to give the stew a try next time. Charlie’s main was a tad on the dry side, although I spotted a couple of images on Instagram of this main which came with what looks like a small salad or spinach leaves on the side, this made the plate look at lot more appealing although I’m not sure if this is standard or not. Aside from this, he still enjoyed it and we were all left feeling very full!
Finally, it was time to select a dessert. There are twelve dessert choices on the vegetarian/vegan menu so I was quite disappointed to find that only one option was vegan friendly and that was sorbet. It’s a bit of a running vegan joke that we get lumbered with the sorbet, but it does happen quite frequently! That being said, the sorbet was very nice but it would have been great to see a vegan chocolate tart on the menu. I did wonder whether the chocolate pot could be made vegan as it does state it’s made with dark chocolate. So it was sorbet for us vegans, but Charlie devoured the ‘Chocolate Fondant’ right in front of us, and yes I was a little jealous!
Overall, I think this a solid menu from Côte Brasserie. I think for veggies, it’s fantastic and provides you with plenty of options to enjoy on an evening out. For vegans, it’s good, and if there was perhaps just one vegan friendly dessert that isn’t sorbet I would say it’s great! I’m sure this will come in time. A big thank you to Côte Brasserie for hosting us, and I’ll definitely be keeping my eye out for any new menu additions, and returning to try that delicious sounding Puy Lentil Stew.