Date Night at Cote Brasserie Newcastle (with kids in tow)

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If we're not travelling, Saturday nights are pretty much always the same for us. We'll order a takeaway or cook a family meal and relax in front of the TV. It's very rare that I'd make plans to head out on a Saturday night these days. But as the summer holidays were drawing to an end, I realised that I'd resorted to popping my hair in a 'mum bun', not wearing any make-up and wearing my 'comfy' clothes for the last few weeks. Not that there's anything wrong with this of course but I was craving an excuse to dress up. 

Date Night at Cote Brasserie Newcastle (with Kids in Tow). Children's Menu Review.


Steve works one in three Saturdays but he does finish early at 4:30pm so on the last Saturday in August, we made a plan to pick Steve up from work and head into Newcastle for a family dinner on a Saturday night. I don't think we've actually ever done this before! Taking advantage of the free parking Newcastle offers after 5pm, we parked on the roof of intu Eldon Square free of charge and took a leisurely stroll through my favourite city. It was lovely to see the fairground rides on Blackett Street and the relaxation area on Grey Street. Newcastle was buzzing (without being rowdy) and I vowed we should do this more often.

Arriving slightly early for our 5:30pm reservation at Cote Brasserie on Grainger Street, we were made to feel more than welcome. A pet hate of mine is having to hang around and wait to be acknowledged by staff by the door. It's all so awkward. Well there's none of that here and the staff are super friendly and really on the ball. We were seated downstairs by the window, provided with menus, kids activity packs and a few bottles of complimentary filtered water were brought over to our table as we browsed the menu. First impressions were good! 

Date Night at Cote Brasserie Newcastle (with Kids in Tow). Children's Menu Review.  - restaurant entrance

Date Night at Cote Brasserie Newcastle (with Kids in Tow). Children's Menu Review.  - restaurant interior

Date Night at Cote Brasserie Newcastle (with Kids in Tow). Children's Menu Review.  - Complimentary distilled water

Date Night at Cote Brasserie Newcastle (with Kids in Tow). Children's Menu Review. Date night!

Date Night at Cote Brasserie Newcastle (with Kids in Tow). Children's Menu Review. Complimentary water

Date Night at Cote Brasserie Newcastle (with Kids in Tow). Children's Menu Review. Steve browsing the menu

I loved the kids activity packs which are French-themed and actually a little educational too. Expect puzzles, postcards and stickers - plenty to keep them entertained and a conversation starter too. We started reminiscing about some of the lovely food we've enjoyed in France over the years and couldn't wait to enjoy the same kind of experience in our home town.

Date Night at Cote Brasserie Newcastle (with Kids in Tow). Children's Menu Review. Kids activity pack


Date Night at Cote Brasserie Newcastle (with Kids in Tow). Children's Menu Review. Kids stickers

The children's menu is suitable for up to age 7 but they are pretty flexible around this and H, H and J all ordered from this menu with Harry and Jack sharing some of mine and Steve's food too - this is the way they do things on the continent after all. The children's portion sizes were pretty small and I think the under 7 guidance reflects this - something to be aware of if dining with older kids. The children's menu is well thought out and very reasonably priced. It's a real mix of classic kids meals with a French twist and firm favourites. Harry was delighted to see Calamari as an option for a kids starter - it's his favourite and he wolfed it down before I managed to take a photo.

Date Night at Cote Brasserie Newcastle (with Kids in Tow). Children's Menu Review. Children's Menu

I loved that Jack tried something a little different and ordered Saucisson Sec - I don't think he's ever tried continental sausage before and he loved it. Cote Brasserie offers inquisitive children the chance to try something other than the standard crudites or garlic bread which is normally offered in restaurants and this should be applauded.

Date Night at Cote Brasserie Newcastle (with Kids in Tow). Children's Menu Review. Saucisson Sec Children's Starter

On the other end of the scale, Heidi is a super-fussy Vegetarian so was also pleased to see a very plain option of 'bread basket' on the menu to start. Kids love bread though and it was a novelty for Heidi to have a full basket to herself. She ate the lot so I'm not going to complain.

Date Night at Cote Brasserie Newcastle (with Kids in Tow). Children's Menu Review. Bread basket children's starter

I don't know what it is about dining in a French restaurant on a Saturday night but it definitely had the vibe of date night. Delicious food, company, wine and conversation. What more could you want? It was actually lovely to share this experience with the kids now that they're older.

Steve ordered the French Onion Soup which he highly rates - just the right amount of cheesiness and a proper rustic French dish. I'm sure he would eat this every day if he could. I went with the charcuterie board which was a steal at £7.25. I ended up sharing it with Steve and the boys as there was too much for me. The Jamon, smoked duck breast and saucisson were all delicious and this starter was such good value.

Date Night at Cote Brasserie Newcastle (with Kids in Tow). Children's Menu Review. French Onion Soup

Date Night at Cote Brasserie Newcastle (with Kids in Tow). Children's Menu Review. Charcuterie platter

Onto the mains and the kids stuck with their favourite - cod goujons for Jack and linguine for Heidi and Harry. The pasta was particularly good, the kids were happy and cleared their plates. Service throughout the evening was excellent - we enjoyed three courses in around 80 minutes which is a perfect amount of time when dining with kids. We never felt like we were waiting around to catch anyone's attention and the staff were knowledgable and had that perfect mix of being relaxed and friendly yet still super professional. I loved it when our served directed Heidi to the loos by explaining she needed to turn right at the baguettes.

Date Night at Cote Brasserie Newcastle (with Kids in Tow). Children's Menu Review. Kids linguine

Date Night at Cote Brasserie Newcastle (with Kids in Tow). Children's Menu Review. Kids Haddock and Chips




Steve and I have a real thing for steak at the moment and couldn't resist the August special - a 22 oz Rib Eye Steak served off the bone with homemade bearnaise sauce and frites. At £17 pp, again, I was really impressed with the value on offer here considering this was a Saturday night in Newcastle. This dish really helped to make the evening feel special for us. The steak just melted in our mouth, the bearnaise sauce was so more-ish and the frites were just perfect. Such a good meal! Although the problem with dining with kids is that they like to steal your food. Jack is a real steak fiend and begged us for a try - of course we relented and he gave it the thumbs up too.

Date Night at Cote Brasserie Newcastle (with Kids in Tow). Children's Menu Review. Rib eye steak for 2

Date Night at Cote Brasserie Newcastle (with Kids in Tow). Children's Menu Review. Rare Rib Eye Steak


Onto desserts and it was ice cream all round for the kids, I ordered one of my faves - chocolate fondant. This one was perfectly gooey! Steve went with the French classic Tarte au Citron which he described as being very zesty and the perfect way to end his meal. We ended dinner with a couple of espressos as the kids finished their activity packs. It would be rude not to. We were back at home for 8pm (and importantly, in time for Casualty) and really felt like we'd enjoyed some proper quality family time together with each other and the kids which you just don't get from sitting in front of the TV.

Date Night at Cote Brasserie Newcastle (with Kids in Tow). Children's Menu Review. Kids ice cream

Date Night at Cote Brasserie Newcastle (with Kids in Tow). Children's Menu Review. Tarte au citron

Date Night at Cote Brasserie Newcastle (with Kids in Tow). Children's Menu Review. Chocolate fondant

What really struck me about Cote Brasserie was the value on offer. They have some fantastic deals which are worth checking out (I'll mention more about this below). I also love that it's such a central location, has a fantastic wine list (not many places offer our favourite Sancerre), offers impeccable service and mix it up with fantastic monthly specials so there's always a reason to return. The food on offer was really good too and it didn't feel like we were dining in a chain at all. The restaurant was full on Saturday night and we were the only ones there with kids. The restaurant was mostly filled with older couples or groups of friends. Don't let this put you off though as their children's offering is really great and we were made to feel super welcome/did not feel out of place at all. 

Here are some of the deals I mentioned: 
  • Sign up to Cote Brasserie's mailing list and enjoy a complimentary bottle of wine 
  • Lunch and Early Evening Menu - three courses for £13.95
  • Children's Menu - two courses for £6.50 




Let me know if you've tried Cote Brasserie or if you fancy booking a table. 


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4 comments

  1. Looks lush! Can't whack a good steak! imogen is getting to the point where a kids meal is a bit too small too! more expense ha ha

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  2. Oh wow it all looks so good! I haven't been for a little while and I've been meaning to try their breakfasts for ages!

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  3. We have been to Cote a few times as a couple but never with the kids. The little two would love the activity packs and the kids meals look good value and the right size for my two (both under 7). Your puddings look delicious x

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  4. I'm literally drooling reading this! i love the kids menu - great way to get them to branch out with just the right amount of familiarity. French onion soup is one of my absolute faves when done right. Can you believe I've still not been here! I really need to get down.

    ReplyDelete

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