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Good Morning Judge

(10cc) – Cote Brasserie, Chelmsford

Chelmsford’s branch of Cote Brasserie is situated at the ‘Exchange’ quarter of Chelmsford, at the northern end of the High Chelmer shopping precinct, where Tindal Square (named for Judge Tindal) becomes Market Street.

Outside Cote Brasserie – with Judge Tindal to the left of the picture

It’s close to Turtle Bay, Banana Tree and the recently closed Carluccio’s.

Tom & Linda had been offered a free ‘Gin & St Germain’ cocktail, and invited me to join them so, early on a mild Wednesday evening we arrived.

We were warmly greeted by the manageress, a charming Chelmsford girl – whose name I forgot to learn – and shown to our table. The restaurant wasn’t overly busy, the aforementioned manageress commented how quiet things were.

The free cocktails arrived, the elderflower in the St Germain taking the harshness away from a dry London Gin, rendering a delicious cocktail.

And a couple of ceramic flagons of tap water.

I ordered from one of the set menus – Moules Provençale to start, followed by half a Breton Chicken, grilled, with garlic butter and frites.

The Moules Provençale were well cooked, delicate and tender, with a spicy, peppery Provençale sauce. A lump of artisan bread would have been useful to soak up the sauce, but it was delicious.

The Breton chicken was tasty and well cooked, grilled but still moist, with light crispy fries, a subtle butter and a small handful of lightly dressed Rocket.

Drinks wise, by now we’d moved on to Pastis, with water, and we followed our meal with a coffee.

The service charge (12.5%) was included in the bill, with a note that the service charge was distributed between the staff. The meal for the three of us came to a around £55, but we were happy to let the staff keep the change, good value for twenty quid each.

All in all, an excellent meal, with attentive staff, we all agreed we’d be happy to return, probably when my friends get another interesting offer, so clearly the offers work!

Rating: ★★★★½