The building had become a little tired, and the decor a bit shabby, and so people seemed to stop going. A couple of months ago we noticed it had shut down, then a few weeks later a brand spanking new sign appeared for 'The Rivington Pub and Grill'. Exciting! Then my dad heard a rumour down the pub (therefore we have it on excellent authority) that that chap who had bought it had spend 'a fair bit of cash on doing it up'. We had to investigate...
We got there about 6pm on Sunday evening and it was already packed. Staff were bustling round taking orders and handing out food. We stood there for a little while waiting to be seated, and then a chap stood at the bar beckoned someone over.
The first thing you notice is the change in decor. It's beautiful! Pale green toile wallpaper is complemented by sage green woodwork, frosted countryside stencilled art on the internal windows and historical photographs of the area.
The menu has a large choice of dishes, which are mainly British and Italian. What we didn't know before we set out was that The Rivington is owned by the same people who run Il Toro, San Marino and the Strawberry Duck (amongst others).
We waited for about fifteen minutes to make our order, but it was clear that the staff were (perhaps unexpectedly) run off their feet. With profuse apologies, our order was taken. Our waitress had only worked there two days; in fact it has only been open a week! I ordered the rib-eye steak with chips and peppercorn sauce and my husband had the steak and ale pie with mash.
I must apologise for the crud standard of the photos, but the light was quite poor and I didn't want to blind everyone with my flash! I think presentation could do with a bit of work, but the food was of good quality.
My husband was very impressed with the gravy inside his pie! He said that it was full of flavour and the meat was very tender.
I asked for my steak medium-rare, and it was done perfectly. It could have done with another 5 minutes resting, as some of the juice had seeped onto the plate. Again, it was obvious that the steak used was of high quality, and took little effort to cut. My only criticism of this dish was the amount of rock salt on the steak, which was a bit harsh on the teeth! This is a bit firmer than sea salt. It could have done with a few more chips too, but that may be me being greedy! They were good by the way...We had hot chocolate fudge cake and strawberry cheesecake for dessert. Both were nice, but clearly not homemade. This would have made the meal that much better, but is just a suggestion. They use Mrs Dowson's ice cream, so that was delicious!
Overall, The Rivington Pub and Grill are doing good food at a decent price. It was just over £35 for both of us, which included two rounds of drinks and two courses each plus one coffee. I think that's pretty good! They are clearly still finding their feet, and not everything is in place at the moment (including the coffee machine!), but I imagine things will get much better very soon.
The Rivington Pub and Grill don't have a website as yet, but I did notice that they've signed up on Facebook. They are positioned right next to Blackrod train station on Station Road.
Disclaimer: The Rivington Pub and Grill did not pay me to do this review. I went because I am a right nosy parker, and felt like I had missed out on something...