French cooking has a reputation for being a little... fancy, especially in the restaurants of London. But! If you're looking for something a little less casual than Le Pain Quotidien (which I love), but not a Michelin-starred wonder in Mayfair, Côte is your place.
It's very good quality for the prices, it's a chain but with an intimate atmosphere, and you really can't go wrong with the food.
We popped into our local branch last week, and we chose their two different Pissaladières to share - one with anchovies and olives, and the other with Reblochon cheese.
It had been a while since I last had them, and I forgot how good they were! Like light, crispy pizzas, and the Reblochon one was particularly delicious,
E chose the Duck Confit for his main, and I had a craving for steak tartar so I went with that - it was a starter portion, but more than enough for me after all that cheese.
They were both great dishes - fuss-free, reasonably priced, flavourful and fresh. That's really what I look for in casual French dining.
That particular day, we opted for ice cream on the couch for dessert, but I know from experience that their dessert menu is very good.
If you stumble across one (which you're bound to do, as they are everywhere in London) and feel like a quick but delicious lunch (they do a lunch deal I think) or a foolproof dinner, try it. After all, if my foodie husband hailing from France approves, they must be doing something right!