RIVINGTON GRILL - REVIEW - 21ST JANUARY 2012
I have been here a few times, mostly for breakfast and I am particularly a fan of their homemade beans on toast.
There is a lot to like about this place - it feels like a hidden away New York bar with the soft lighting, simple but classic decor and round bar to sit at for cocktails and bar snacks. It has white tablecloths, albeit paper ones, but that just adds to the cool NYC vibe for me.
The menu is very British and timeless - starters of oysters, home cured smoked salmon and Cornish squid with wild boar sausages are met with mains of steak and kidney pudding, portobello mushroom sausages and scallops with black pudding and sea purslane ending in puddings such as honeycomb ice cream with caramel sauce and apple and cinnamon pie with custard.
There is enough choice on the menu but it’s not too much and is very well thought out. My diner and I settled on starters of Rivington cured salmon with horseradish cream and a salad of chicory, apple and pears with walnuts and sweet mustard (pictured).
The starter was light and fresh with the crunchy chicory perfectly complimenting the soft apples and pears. The dressing was sharp and flavoursome yet I couldn’t help but feel the salad was really missing something - cheese. A goats cheese, stilton or cheshire would have really brought the salad together.
My companions smoked salmon was extremely tasty but unfortunately came alone apart from half a lemon and some horseradish cream. Some nice sourdough and a helping of capers would have really added to what was otherwise a bland and unforgettable starter.
For main we both opted for the fish and chips with minted mushy peas. We were going out for drinks afterwards and after a light starter, both fancied something filling. Sadly, it was a mistake.
Presentation was lacking and to be honest, it looked like it had just been plonked on the plate in a rush. Chips were cast on one side with the smallest blob of mushy peas on the other. Blink and you really would have missed them. It was such a shame as they were very tasty and I could have easily eaten a whole bowlful. The cod itself was a healthy size with delicious, chunky melt-in-the-mouth fish. The batter, even though appearing thick and bubbly, was rather soft and sloppy and very disappointing.
The meal wasn’t all bad - Rivington Grill do wine by the 500ml and 750ml carafe and we had a great 500ml carafe of Sauvingon Blanc which couldn’t be faulted. Every table in the restaurant was taken while we were there and there was a great atmosphere. Service was attentive and not too rushed, especially as we only had the table for two hours. There is also a 50% off food offer on in January and we only paid £45 for two courses each, wine and service.
However, I don’t think I’ll be going back to Rivington Grill for dinner for a while. They could perhaps tempt me back with their delicious home-made beans on toast though.
Rivington Grill, 28-30 Rivington Street, London, EC2A 3DZ.