The 140-cover venue launched in Bridge Street after a £1m investment to create Côte’s trademark chic Parisian-style ambience.
The grade II-listed property has been carefully refurbished to expose stonework and timber beams.
General manager Chris Amundsen, who has relocated after running a busy Côte in Brighton, said: “I always wanted to bring the brand up north. It’s only quite recently that we started opening restaurants up here. York was the first, which is nearly three years ago now.”
Despite the proliferation in the number of city centre restaurants, Chris believes there is enough demand for everyone saying: “The fact Steak ‘n’ Shake, which is quite big in the States, chose Chester for their first UK franchise goes to show that when you look at the market, Chester is a massive growth area.”
And he argues that while Côte Chester is part of a chain – he prefers to use the term ‘family of restaurants’ – it does offer a unique feel partly because of the character of the building but also the front-of-house staff who are recruited on the basis of their personalties.
Chris, who is originally from Sunderland, added: “While the restaurants are decorated the same, mostly, they are different in their own right. Yeah, we serve the same food, yeah, it’s pretty much the same menu but when guests come through the door, the important thing is that they feel at home. All of our food we make ourselves using the freshest and seasonal ingredients.”
At £10.95 for two courses and £12.95 for three courses the weekday lunch and early evening set menu offers an affordable dining experience. The French wine list features a number of independent producers from across France.
And Côte champions all day dining; from ‘lazy’ weekend breakfasts to special celebration dinners, business lunches and relaxed family meals. Served until midday on weekdays and 1pm at weekends, Côte claims its breakfasts are revered by guests and celebrated on social media.
Accredited by Coeliac UK, Côte is proud of its comprehensive gluten-free menu. Côte says it maintains high standards in gluten-free food preparation and staff training and understands the importance of offering reliable and safe dining.