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Au Cote d'Argent, Calais


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Situated right on “the front” , next to the port, Au Cote d’Argent offers a perfectly pleasant and acceptable €42 menu. It’s pleasant and acceptable both in its quality and its value for money. Place was packed on the Friday night and I reckon we were probably the only foreigners.

Three scallops, and their roe, were bang-on for cooking. Good crust, still just opaque in the middle. A simple fishy creamy sauce added rather than detracted from the inherent sweetness. A little scattering of caviar and some almost raw shreds of leek offered contrasting taste and texture.

I followed this with a generous fillet of turbot – again simply prepared with a little sauce. It sat on the second appearance of leeks – this time long cooked and meltingly soft and sweet. Some asparagus, broccoli, potato and a rather incongruous cherry tomato accompanied.

Meanwhile, my partner had gone for a half lobster, served with a very ballsy shellfish and Pernod sauce. It came with a small dollop of mashed potato which was declared to have worked well in mopping up the sauce (a bit of surprise there – as the companion in life usually despises mashed spud). There was also some leeks. Of course there was.

This was followed by sole fillets, wrapped around a crayfish mousse, and the same vegetables as my dish. The mousse, although very flavoursome, was quite dense and made the whole plate seem a bit heavy and unbalanced.

There was then a cheese course. A chariot of a dozen offerings, including several from the region, notably a Wissant and a Maroilles.

A good range of desserts was offered from the trolley and we selected Iles Flottant and a particularly good chocolate tart – crisp pastry, rich filling.

And then it was back to the hotel for an all too short sleep before an early ferry.

John Hartley

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