Reviewed by Laura Wragg
I have to admit that, though I’ve only ever had pleasant experiences of Café Rouge, I’ve not visited for several years. As the French restaurant chain approach their thirtieth birthday, in my mind, they’ve become such a staple of the high street that I’ve often overlooked them when planning a meal out. What an oversight!
Brighton’s Marina sees a lot of restaurants come and go but Café Rouge is one of the few that have been there as long as I have lived locally and, on the strength of our recent visit, deservedly so. It’s a great location, looking out over the water, and far enough along the boardwalk to avoid the crowds that you get outside the restaurants at the eastern end. We sat inside but it’s worth noting that, even in mid-April, there were a few hardy souls sitting outside. In the summer, this is the place to be.
I’ve only previously eaten snails in France so I thought I’d give them a try to start. I wasn’t disappointed. Cooked to perfection and wonderfully presented in three miniature saucepans. Easily the best escargot I’ve ever had. Highly recommended! My partner was equally impressed by the pâté which was served with a fabulously tasty chutney. For my main we opted for a fillet steak (medium rare and could not have been cooked more perfectly to my taste) and the confit de canard, served with the most wonderful potato dauphinoise. Needless to say that as the sun went down over the marina wall, the wine was flowing, our plates were clean and there was already talk of when we were going to return for another visit!
A first class tarte tatin and gooey chocolate fondant certainly did nothing to dampen our rediscovered enthusiasm for Café Rouge and concluded a meal that really was several cuts above the competition.
For more information, to view menus or to book a table visit www.caferouge.com.
Café Rouge, 6 The Water Front, Brighton Marina, Brighton, BN2 5WA | 01273 622423