"It's not much but it's ours"

Friday, March 03, 2006


How do you solve a problem like the Rivington? So maddeningly inconsistent. A real curate's egg of a restaurant. Sometimes, so awfully bad that you cannot imagine ever setting foot in there again. Then, it comes up with cooking so on point and ingredients so well provenanced, that you can't imagine not going there regularly.

Tonight was just such a night

I was dining with colleagues both from the UK office and from the US office and the Rivington seemed like a good place which would not offend anyone.

We arrived at 6.30pm. We were the only ones in there and to begin with, the service could have been measured with a calendar rather than a watch. The table we were shown to in the corner was as cold as the welcome and we asked to be moved. T
while this did not seem to phase them at all, it did phase me as I managed to spill the best part of a martini over Zaro. Mind you, having tasted the martini, spilling it was the best thing to do.

We ordered and our starters arrived pretty promptly. While my whitebait was very good indeed and Stacey's potted shrimp also good, two of our colleagues had ordered green salads. What came was the most abysmally small, parsimonious amount of green leafery I have ever seen. We kicked up a stink and they brought us bigger plates which were fine. But, who would ever think this would be acceptable?

So far, so bad and I was in my " why do we come here" mode.

Then, just when I think I have the place sussed out, the main courses arrived. Damn them. They were all great. My suckling pig was a bigger portion than normal. Lucy's lamb was a big chunk with a decent amount of bubble & squeak. Zaro had seven plump scallops ( which, being an American, she let me enjoy the roe ). All were very good indeed.

However, best of all, Michael and Stacey shared a gosenard roast chicken with roast potatoes. This was seriously good chicken. Perfectly roasted with a big bowl of stuffing and some roast potatoes that all who tried ( not me ) declared "fabulous"

I had a chunk of chicken too as no one else could finish and I am a big fat bastard. A great flavour and perfectly cooked with wonderfully crispy skin.

We shared three puddings. A chocolate trifle which I seemed to enjoy most of all, a butterscotch ice cream with shortbread and a, slightly dry, bakewell tart. All were enjoyed, but puddings are not my stick.

With the drinks to begin, two bottles of water and two bottles of wine ( a Marsanne Vigionier and a Quinto de Duoro ) the bill came to £230 inc service which I think was a bout fair.

So, 10 meals later, I still have not figured out The Rivington Grill. I will certainly go there again and it will certainly be just as horribly infuriating and just good enough to keep me coming back. Curses.
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