DATE NIGHT / Café Rouge Afternoon


Fancy dining like the French?

But you're too broke to afford a Eurostar ticket, or think Paris is way too overrated?

(This is sounding very pitchy, I need to stop watching Dragon's Den)

I can count how many times I've been to Café Rouge, and it doesn't surpass 5. Why? I honestly don't know why.

Every time I dine here. I ask, 'why don't I come here more often?'

The attention to detail is superb, I can tell the chefs give every dish their best effort. As if they want you to Instagram every plate.

The quality of food is way over average. I feel as if I've spent my day viewing art at the Louvre, walked down the cobbled streets of Paris, finally nestling down to my evening meal, enjoying a hearty authentic French dinner. Honestly, there aren't many chains restaurants that teleport me to another destination.

Ok ok, I may not be French and I haven't tasted all of the traditional French dishes. But I have to admit, Café Rouge does an impressive job of fooling me that I am not in Coventry anymore.

I sipped on a refreshing sparkling and raspberry mocktail. For starters we had the 'warm breaded Camembert with cranberry and redcurrant sauce'. The cheese paired beautifully with the sweet berries. As well as the Salmon Rillettes, 'smoked and poached salmon, lightly flavoured with shallot and chives'. The shallots were my favourite part of the dish! I also loved the rustic presentation of this starter. 

For mains, the photo above that probably got your stomaches rumbling, were from the lunch menu. My boyfriend order the Steak Baguette and I ordered the Croque Saumon, obviously alongside the best French fries you could wish for. 

I asked my boyfriend, 'how's your steak?' He was too busy stuffing his mouth and replied with a moan and eyes rolling to the back of his head. I think he liked it. 

My main was... beautiful. Is it ok to call salmon, cheese and fries beautiful? It looks simple, and easy enough to cook. And that was the beauty of it. For an afternoon lunch I just want a good, hearty meal. Everything was cooked to perfection. You know when it's a good chip when the outside has a crunch, and inside is fluffy. Call me the Chip Connoisseur. The salmon in the sandwich was drizzled with lemon and dunked into horseradish crème fraîche. The cheese... oh the glory cheese... just look at that golden sunshine. 

After this meal, I will definitely be back again, I promise! But I would love to go to more French inspired restaurants that are less fancy and more cosy like Café Rouge. And find French restaurants that don't break the bank!

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