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Riverstation Restaurant The Grove Bristol Review 22nd June 2017

Always a favourite with Bristolians and tourists alike for its great location on the river, now Riverstation has given up its independence and become a Youngs restaurant. This may have struck gloom into the heart of some of the regular patrons, but I have to tell you it is business as usual and if anything has changed, it’s for the better.

As it was a lovely evening we went along early to have a drink beforehand in the downstairs bar and restaurant where you can sit on the terrace and watch the myriad activities on the water; canoeing, sailing, ferry boats, and a boat the size of a small bathtub bobbing past carrying two rather large and inebriated gentlemen bravely flying a Jolly Roger – you get all sorts! There is excellent table service and smiling welcome for all, and we spent a very happy hour there before going upstairs to the restaurant to eat.

Shown to the perfect table for two by panoramic windows that look out over the water, a great opportunity to appreciate the long light evening whilst eating something nice. That was the plan, and it came together. We chose from the à la carte menu, starting with squid ink risotto with clams, gremolata, and shaved Parmesan for my husband, and grilled artichoke, baby fennel, asparagus with goat’s curd and toasted almonds for me. Guinea fowl, my great favourite (it’s not just for Christmas) leapt off the page for me, served as a supreme with heritage carrots, fondant potato and spinach. Pan fried bass with asparagus, brown shrimps and paprika vierge was for my husband, but he substituted hand cut ships for the ratte potatoes (I knew he would) which was not a problem.

A choice of breads was offered, baked at the restaurant that morning; we took sea salt and rosemary, and a delicious looking brown treacle bread so nice that we had to have seconds, and then sipped a delicate amuse bouche of tomato gazpacho with pistou which was delightfully refreshing.

We really enjoyed both our starters which were beautifully presented, as were the main courses. The sea bass was cooked to perfection and I loved the guinea fowl with its rich and robust sauce. The pudding menu was proffered along with a selection of pudding wines, and we couldn’t resist a glass of muscat de beaumes de venise, which was served very stylishly ice cold in a chilled glass – heaven! The puddings were heaven too, elderflower panna cotta with poached rhubarb and vanilla crème brûlée with fresh raspberries.

The restaurant is as much a treat to go to as ever, the service was first class and added to the enjoyment of our evening and the decision to return as soon as possible.

Jacquie Vowles

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