Dinner with a view is pretty unusual in urban Bristol, yet Riverstation dishes up dreamy sunsets alongside delicious food, says Kathryn Lewis
Sitting beneath Riverstation’s wall of floor-toceiling windows with the first rays of spring sun warming your cheeks and a bloodorange Negroni loosener working its magic is like basking on the deck of a cruise liner.
The handsome interior of the upper-deck dining room further fuels the illusion: navy walls, tan leather banquettes, a dark-wood decked ceiling and nautical artwork reference the city’s shipbuilding history. It’s a smart setting for lunch ahead of a wander around the harbour, or for dinner and cocktails with a backdrop of twinkling lights on the water.
VISIT for a crowd-pleasing menu which will appeal to every member of the party.
At this spot overlooking the water, fish and seafood naturally take the lead. A starter of fish soup is rich with crustacean sweetness, silky smooth off the spoon and fortified with crusty croutons, gently spiced rouille and grated cheese.
Meaty classics (West Country duck breast and flat iron steak on our visit) also feature, but what really shines are the vegan listings which are not only creative but abundant. A sun-blushed tomato and basil savoury cheesecake main course swaps dairy for cashews and plant-based cream cheese, and positively benefits from the revisions. Paired with the bitter notes of roast chicory and the creaminess of celeriac puree and chestnuts, it’s got the gusto to persuade any naysayer that vegan cooking can be incredible.
DON’T VISIT for super casual dining. For that you’ll want to head below deck to feast on fish and chips, gourmet burgers, or ham and leek pie at sister restaurant Pontoon.
WE LIKED the drinks: Riverstation’s list is the work of someone who knows how to party.
The à la carte menu suggests a number of aperitifs to get the evening started before the lengthy wine list takes over. It’s a hefty bible in which the knowledgeable staff are well versed; just ask and they’ll guide you to your perfect pairing.