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Despite being part of a chain, Cote Islington strives for individuality – actively engaging the community and regularly changing the menu are just two examples.

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One of the first things that strikes you about this well appointed, romantically lit restaurant is how cheap the food is – the early bird deal of two courses for £9.95 strikingly good value.

There is also a lot of options, mainly French. I had a very good steak tartar, with quality mince and a strong, peppery seasoning.

My partner had the excellent prawn gratinée which, with lovely white wine, garlic, chilli and tomato sauce, is among the best appetisers I‘ve tried recently.

For the main I chose the beef bourguignon, which was nice enough but a touch on the bland side – although in fairness I was spoiled as a youth; my uncle was a chef in France and bourguignon was his signature dish.

Restaurant info:

Cote Islington

4-6 Islington Green

N1 2XA

Tube: Angel

Tel: 020 7354 4666

E: islington@cote-restaurants.co.uk

Mains: from £8.75

Wine: from £14.50

Children welcome: Yes

Disabled access: Yes

Across the table, my girlfriend had a very impressive fish parmentier; different white fish and salmon smothered in a creamy white wine and leek sauce with mash potato and gruyère.

As you might expect from a French place the wine list is long, so we sipped a couple of ultra sweet dessert wines instead of dessert.

I am not sure quite what my expectations were, but Cote definitely exceeded them – it has choice, value and quality and we will be dining there again.

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