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“Promising start, let down by the mains”
Review of The River Grille

The River Grille
Ranked #112 of 1,623 Restaurants in Bristol
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $19 - $64
Cuisines: European, British
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Dinner, Late Night, Reservations
Description: Boasting stunning Harbourside view, The River Grille features some of the best produce in the South West and ingredients that speak for themselves. With a sleek lounge bar, The River Grille is also home to a pianist on Friday evenings and Sunday lunch times, and a Jazz band on Saturday evenings. Head Chef Matt Lord writes the a la carte menu quarterly to make use of the best seasonal products, together with a very successful daily specials menu which features many local dishes including some beautifully prepared fish dishes. The beef is 28-day dry aged West Country beef and is cooked on a Josper charcoal grill; favourites from the grill include a West Country 8oz sticky Bourbon & brown sugar rib eye steak, a rack of Nailsea lamb with coriander & green chilli and a Creedy Carver chicken with lemon & thyme. The delicious desserts include a buttermilk panna cotta with apple & summer berries and a cherry clafoutis with cherry ripple ice cream - of course the ice cream is home made! For cheese lovers, there is a plate of West Country cheese with a Bramley apple chutney. In addition, there is a pre theatre/early dining menu available each evening from 5.30-6.45pm, and express lunches from Monday to Friday with a “build a board” concept. On Sundays, a traditional carvery is available. The light and airy dining area has striking light features and mahogany furniture, with large windows that allow diners to look out over the water. The River Grille Bar is complete with a glossy finish and quirky white grand piano. At the Centre of the city, the River Grille Restaurant is a 10 minute walk from Bristol Temple Meads station and right on the Narrow Quay Harbourside.
Bristol
Level 5 Contributor
60 reviews
54 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Promising start, let down by the mains”
Reviewed January 27, 2013

We went for the four course lunch menu this weekend. The restaurant was lovely, although we were rather close to the table behind us, and both my dining companion and I had to squeeze into and out of our seats rather tightly (we aren't the biggest people either).
The piano player is a definite plus!
The soup was advertised as butternut squash. We were presented with a green unidentified soup.. I asked the waitress what it was and she said she didn't know. When she checked it was broccoli soup. No mention was made as to why this was different from the menu.
The buffet second course was lovely, although not much was labelled. We had to sort of pick and choose and hope for the best. Nothing was labelled as vegetarian, which was a bit confusing for a fellow diner.
The mains were a horrible let down. Everything was on a chopping board, making it impossible to eat (lack of space to cut things!). I had the minute steak which was cooked to death, completely inedible. I was served a mountain of fries. I was not offered any sauces, and found the whole thing very dry. My partner had the pork loin; on the menu it was advertised as being served with roast potatoes, yorkshire puddings and an assortment of other veg. The yorkshire puddings never materialised, and the dish of vegetables was drowned in butter, and inedible again. His pork was half fat. We weren't approached until we'd pretty much finished our mains, and when I raised my complaints with the gentleman who served us he made no comment. The yorkshire puddings are still missing to this very day.

The puddings were buffet style again and very nice (creme brulee, lemon posset, crumble and bread and butter pudding), although the crumbles were served piping hot in little ramekins which were incredibly hard to retrieve from the hot plate without burning yourself!

All in all, an okay experience. Perhaps a little more attentive waitressing and a more on-menu menu would be better :)

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank HBGeeBee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheBristolHotel, Manager at The River Grille, responded to this review, January 30, 2013
HBGeeBee,
Thank you for taking the time to write a review following your lunch with us.

I'm very disappointed to hear about your feedback regarding our weekend lunch and please accept our sincere apology. I was sorry to hear that you did not have an enjoyable lunch overall and could have been better if the few minor issues did not occur. I have taken your comments on board i.e. mains not cooked to your liking, side over greasy and to ensure that the right gears are available for service. I will be review them personally with my team this week to ensure that it’s all rectified for a smooth and efficient service.
As a company we take our guest feedback very seriously and if there is any other suggestion that could help us to improve guest satisfaction please do contact me directly by email on Pramod_shaw@doylecollection.com so that I can look at it more in details.
Regards
Pramod Shaw
F&B Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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401 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Worcester
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Positive, positive, positve!!!!”
Reviewed January 26, 2013

Delicious food, plenty of choice and extremely well presented.
Our compliments to the chef.
Staff very friendly, incredibly polite and nothing was too much trouble.
You can take your time between courses, did not feel rush at all.
Restaurant atmosphere very relaxed, beautiful views of the harbour, quality people watching.
The whole place is exceptionally clean, tidy and attractively decorated.
Thank you to all the staff at The River Grill for making our first visit to the restaurant such a positive one.
We will visit again very soon.

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank worcesterwarriors08
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol, United Kingdom
1 review
“Damn tasty food”
Reviewed January 26, 2013

A nice quiet place with a calm atmosphere (the pianist makes things even more relaxing). Couldn't possibly complain about the food, it's fine dining for me! Not exactly the cheapest place to dine but the quality of the food justifies the price. A review here says "food was bland lacking flavours" - either they had a bad chef or their standards are too high. The staff are really nice and professional, made us feel very welcome. Overall a great place to eat.

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Benjiboy_1986
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hinckley leics
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“the river grille bristol”
Reviewed January 24, 2013

very good food and service.very good value for money.we will go again.there was an excellent view of the harbour and it was good to people watch as we had our excellent value lunch.good service from a polish waiter who talked to us about his time in england.noisy hen party the other end of the restaurant but this did spoilit for us.we will return

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank michael h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol, United Kingdom
1 review
“A cut above”
Reviewed January 23, 2013

Surprised at a fellow reviewer's negative comments after sampling the 4 Course Lunch (usually £19.50) on a Groupon deal working out at £12.50 each. Free parking in the adjacent NCP was a bonus. Terrific setting and views of the harbourside and a pleasant ambience thanks to the live piano playing on a Sunday. Soup starter was delicious and very hot. Wide choice on 2nd Course Buffet. A minor point is that I would like to see labels on the buffet items. Had to be careful not to eat too much before the main course. Mains were excellent and there was a good choice. The Sirloin was a little rare for my liking but very good regardless. My wife had lamb which looked perfect. Presentation on a wooden breadboard was attractive - just had to be careful that the gravy didn't spill off! My bread & butter pudding dessert from the buffet was a little cold and looked dry. However, with cream, it tasted excellent. My wife chose different buffet items and was equally impressed. Service throughout was extremely attentive and professional, far better than most restaurants I have visited. I do suspect that they will struggle to fill the restaurant with diners willing to pay £19.50 although the overall experience and quality does warrant the price. If another Groupon deal comes along I will buy several!

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank GChem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheBristolHotel, Manager at The River Grille, responded to this review, January 24, 2013
Dera Cgem,

Thank you for taking the time to write a review following your lunch with us.

I'm glad to hear that you had an enjoyable lunch and I have taken your comments on board regarding the food label and about the dessert buffet. This will be looked at this week.

We look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.
Regards

Raphael Herzog
Director
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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