Recipes and Restaurant Reviews

Petit Coco Cheltenham Restaurant Review | What’s it like to eat at Petit Coco Bistro Cheltenham

Petit Coco Cheltenham Restaurant Review | What’s it like to eat at Petit Coco Bistro Cheltenham

Just in case your French is so bad that you don’t know what Petit means – upon entry to Petit Coco Cheltenham, you’ll work out that it means ‘small’. If you use an online dictionary, it will also suggest insignificant – I paid Petit Coco Bistro Cheltenham a visit to find out how insignificant it was.

Blink and you’ll miss it – I’ve lived in Cheltenham for 5 years and had to look hard to find it, follow your feet not your nose and it appears, nestled in a regular Cheltenham basement. Down some rather tight steps, and you’re already like, ohhhhh, that’s why it’s called Petit Coco.

Front entrance and stairs to Petit Coco Cheltenham
Petit Coco, Cheltenham is cute and quaint before you even get through the door.

The entrance is cute, in you go to a atmospherically lit, umm, French Bistro. It’s so cute, very few covers in a couple of small rooms with a shabby old French Dresser (an exact version of which I actually own) and everything fabulously un-fancy – leading you to believe that this place is gonna be all about the food and rude – just like France, brilliant!

Petit Coco Cheltenham is without doubt French
Without doubt this is a French restaurant and I have exactly the same dresser, how mad is that?

Had a cosy table near the door, squashed in between the wall and a rather dramatic fireplace. Tables were close but not too close and the atmosphere had gentle music and quiet conversation, this is a supremely intimate place.

Friendly, to the point, but really friendly waitress appears with the wine list – red please, I’m driving, so a carafe of house Merlot between us and some water – lovely. The menu, if you can call it that, is delivered to the table written on to a small table top blackboard. There are very few dishes on it – and in my mind, that means quality, not big chain, poorly cooked/defrosted quantity.

House wine by the cute carafe is handy at Petit Coco Cheltenham
House wine by the cute carafe is handy at Petit Coco Cheltenham

Two courses a piece – here’s how it started:

Lambs Kidneys à la Moutarde £6.35 (mustard), which arrived in a small cast iron skillet, a half moon pastry sat atop plenty of Kidneys bathing in a lovely mushroom coloured sauce, smelling of piss. Now, I feel bad about saying that, because they are kidneys after all, and they are the body’s piss processing plant. I’m a foodie thought right? I had to eat them, and glad I did – even through the subtle taste of urine. I can’t say that I loved them, for obvious reasons, but I know they were good.

I asked the waitress how they were cooked and more specifically in Sherry, like my grandmother used to. With a shrug of the shoulders I realised that the food, whilst wonderfully artisan and clearly centre stage – these guys weren’t going for stars – and for that, I loved it even more. This is a question I ask every time – it’s a good indicator of their vibe.

Lambs Kidneys from Petit Coco Cheltenham
Lambs Kidneys from Petit Coco Cheltenham were good, but, did smell a little like wee – you gotta fight through that

Comté Soufflé £6.95 – went for it! Will it or won’t it? Do you think everyone says that when they order stuff like that, you know, like a Chocolate Fondant, “ooohhh Nigel, but will it still be runny inside”? I literally don’t know anyone called Nigel – no idea why I used that name, Nige it is though.

It arrived, was puffy, wobbly, grilled cheese colour covered in a cheesy sauce – fork in hand, eyes wide open, a gentle plunge. I’m bigging this up far too much, it was ace, really soft, perfect Soufflé in texture, structure and flavour – nailed it. Nige would have pissed himself, hopefully not over the Kidneys…again, it’s a joke, they were good…jeez, chill-out.

The Comte Souffle from Petit Coco Cheltenham
The Comte Souffle was spot on, look, it’s almost falling over it’s so soft and wobbly – like me, I’m working on that though…

Here’s how it continued:

Poitrine de Porc £17.95 – pork belly (slice), served in a skillet again, on mash with wilted greens AND a grilled sausage – oh, with gravy. It was good, real good. Now, I am a pork fiend, without doubt the finest beast one can eat – I myself am a little piggie, so is Nige. I think what you’re looking for when ordering any pork belly dish is something so soft you can eat it with a spoon, plenty of char colour, bit of crisp to it and the inevitable sweet salt kick – I was happy.

Pork belly on mash with a massive sausage at Petit Coco Cheltenham
Pork belly on mash with a massive sausage

Magret de Canard £18.95 – you know this, Duck Breast. You’re in a similar territory to pork belly here, you want colour and crunch, but hopefully with nice pink duck breast. They did enquire as to how we wanted it cooked, but in a “are you ok with medium rare”? Of course we were. Now, this came with Gratin Dauphinoise Potato, served in it’s own little baking paper pouch. When I make them I tend to slice the potatoes rather thin and layer up. These guys did much chunkier slices, with slightly less sauce, but it was rammed, and I mean packed full of cheesy, creamy and garlicy flavour. We were slightly concerned it might be a little dry, but the flavour dealt with that – was different though, which is a good thing. The duck was great, good portion and the sauce, silky and smooth – very good.

Perfect duck breast Dauphinoise Potato in a bag from Petit Coco Cheltenham
Perfect duck breast and Dauphinoise potato in a bag

It ended with a look at the dessert menu – with which we were too full, nearly, very nearly shared a reasonably priced Apple Tart Tatin (£5.95) – but, out of room I’m afraid.

The bill arrived, bear in mind we didn’t have much alcohol, not even a full bottle or dessert, it was a pleasant £63.15. Which for two happy people makes for a good night. Overall, I would say the pricing is on a par and reasonable, not cheap, but not overly expensive.

Who is it for? Romantic couples for sure, your folks would love it too – rowdy mates, probably not and not built for kids. The verdict, you gotta go – Petit Coco Cheltenham is top ten on TripAdvisor and rightly so.

Atmosphere
Food
Drink
Staff
Value
Overall
Average
 

PRICE: £ £

WEBSITE: petitcoco.co.uk

TELEPHONE: 01242 257343

 



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