There is so much choice on the high street when wanting to go out to eat, quality and quantity are abundant as are the types of cuisine, you are more than spoilt for choice. One place I’ve over looked for years is Café Rouge and I am not quite sure why it slipped off my radar. There used to one in Putney (London) which was my go-to weekend stop, but since moving to Cheshire I had never been to one.
During half term I popped to Chester with the children to visit the newly refurbished restaurant on Bridge Street, to try to make friends again with this popular French restaurant. Our summer holidays had been spent on a French road trip so my boys (aged 8 and 13) instantly felt transported back to Paris in the cosy, soft lit, red interior. Just to ensure we covered all age groups my Mum (Grandma Sue) popped along for balance. My boys are always hungry so we got stuck straight into the menu and ordered drinks and garlic bread (see picture). We all grabbed some of the soft bread and dipped it into the melted warm garlic butter and the whole lot disappeared after about 3 minutes!
My youngest who sometimes does not want to be seen as the baby of the family was more than happy with his crayons and word search from the little booklet provided. What I remembered I loved about Café Rouge was that you can go totally full on French with the food or just have a hint of something French. The staff were fab, smiley and effortless as they flitted between all the tables.
Mum had a smoked ham and Gruyère cheese croque with fries; I had a Rouge Chicken Caesar, the eldest a Rouge Nicoise and the youngest a burger and friends from the kids’ menus. And what did we like? Well to be frank, everything! All fresh, hot and very tasty, we could tell care had been taken with the ingredients and prep.
Kids’ menus love them or hate them, they are at necessity and of course some places, like Café Rouge, give them much more than an afterthought. There is lots to choose from and the expected stuff like burgers and chicken are done with care; the Petit Croque is just too darn cute! Only one teeny thing is that when the kids menu food arrived it was just there on the plate looking a bit boring, maybe a French flag could sit proudly atop of the burger, the plate could have a plate cover that echoed the cute characters of the activity pack or even the fries in a little basket. Just a few little extra touches would add that extra ‘je ne sais quoi’. If it were not for the children, I would have ordered more wine and sank back into the seating and soaked up even more of the ‘Frenchness’ of the chandeliers, weathered mirrors, subtle lighting and quite happily imagined myself back in Paris. But I had to settle for a shared delicious Crème Brulee with my Mum whilst the boys tucked into chocolate crepes with vanilla ice cream, which will definitely do for me any day of the week.
With breakfast, Menu Rapid, fixed price, lunch and dinner menus available with an excellent range of desserts, wines and sides a visit to Café Rouge in the heart of Chester is a must for a ‘tres jolie’ time. We are definitely friends again and will be back to try breakfast very soon.
http://www.caferouge.com/ Take a look here for your local Cafe Rouge. Christmas Day and New Years Eve menus are also available.