The Rivington Grill in Greenwich SE10 - Restaurant review-

The Rivington Grill Review

First impressions, the first 30 seconds when you form an opinion which will leave its mark for ever. When The Rivington Grill opened in Greenwich, over a decade ago, we made use of our Cinema membership card to eat. Unusual? not so, follow me..... Greenwich center. Next to the Picture House is  The Rivington Grill, dark blue awnings, terrace outside. Let's go in: perfectly acceptable decor, high ceilings, white walls, white table cloths, wooden floor. On the first visit, I remember coming out thinking "thanks resto-gods for the discount". Definitely not the right first impression, time past, we never went back, until.....but let's have a little bit of background first.

If Greenwich is flushed with places to eat, they are not all worth writing about, moreover not many cater for a special meal, you know "the something which offers a little more than....". So when the time came to review locally, my attention turned to the Rivington again.

When we walked in the Rivington Grill for the second time, my first thought was "Wow, the Rivington Grill has entered its teens and is screaming "look at me"". Same non descript, perfectly fine environment but it felt cosier with its burnt sienna sofas which contrast with the brightest of artworks by Cheryl Field. I liked the new feel straight away.

The hush-hush atmosphere I remembered, had been replaced by a happy buzz. The Rivington is pulling off something difficult, an open space with distinct areas for different purposes, living in harmony.

A bar where punters can enjoy "quick food from the menu" or a cocktail (£8.00) and a snack or a gin from their extensive list and a bite, Olives or Crispy Pig Ears (see what I mean about unconventional) among other bar snacks.
The rest of the place including the Mezzanine is devoted to tables, single or two on the edge and family size in the middle. At the Rivington kids eat for free. On the subject of offers on Mondays you can bring your own wine (£5.00 corkage).

A waitress shown us to the table. Now, I am going to pause  on image for a minute. The front of the house is, in my opinion, the Rivington Grill's biggest asset. Waiting staff were perfect, so nice that I wanted to take them home.
Forward to the food, the menu offers a range as varied as the nature of the dinners: Battered Haddock and Mushy peas (£15.50), Burger and Chips (£10.00) along with some really strong combinations such as my Wild rabbit, mushrooms, black pudding, green beans, poached egg (£6.25).           
Ingredients are all British and local whenever possible:  sausages from Heap's, the chorizo is from Monmouthshire. The menu is bit like a geography lesson, there is more on their website under Local Legends.

As always, it was a delight to see rabbit on the menu and chose it as starter, it was nice. He was very happy with Creamed smoked haddock, poached Burford brown egg (£6.50). The sommelier had chosen a bottle of Bavodolino for us, an excellent all rounder. We decided that there was a chef in the kitchen and started to relax, soaked in the atmosphere and enjoy our time.
No lull on the service, perfectly on cue, with a smile, came the ever so friendly waitress and the mains: Snowdonian Lamb Shank, Parsnip mash, Rosemary (£17.25), a good dish which let me down a little by its under-seasoning and  the parsnip mash being very strong, in fact vegetables are not best but he loved his Newlyn cod, Butter Beans, Monmouthshire chorizo (14.75).

Our 3 course meal with dessert and coffee came to £113, not cheap but certainly not outrageous for the quality of ingredients, the variety of dishes offered by a head chef's with a solid direction and of course the engaging service.
A good mid-range provision, a difficult slot in the best of cases, we will be back hopefully before the Rivington reaches its middle life crisis.

Rivington Grill
178 Greenwich High Road,
SE10 8NN
020 8293 9270.

Rivington Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

Square Meal

Disclaimer: We were guest of the Rivington Grill and thank all who made this review possible.

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