Rigby's Farmhouse (April 2003)
This is an archived article from 2003.
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These days, 'traditional' is almost a dirty word in the restaurant game. Aspiring young chef-patrons would rather be dragged naked through the streets than have their 'Modern European' food tagged as 'traditional'. But after enduring yet another over-elaborate creation that fails to hit the spot, you sometimes start to yearn for the simple things done well - roast leg of lamb with mint sauce, roast beef with Yorkshire pudding, roast pork with apple sauce.
When the urge takes you, there's no better place to go than Rigby's Farmhouse Restaurant. That is, if you can find it. Hidden away between Wrea Green and Warton (to get there take the lane opposite the Birley Arms pub), this converted 16th century farmhouse opened its doors in 1988. The original farm (Little Carrside) is next door and it's still very much a working farm run by the Rigbys. Indeed, much of the produce, including beef, poultry, pork and dairy, is sourced from here so you can be sure what you are eating is fresh as can be. The family - Louise Rigby runs the kitchen -- are big backers of the Keep The Fylde Farming campaign and one way they actively demonstrate their support is by not allowing any French produce across the threshold. In practical terms, what this means is that you get a wine list with no French wine on it. Fear not though. The selection at Rigby's is well chosen and VERY reasonably priced. The most expensive bottle on the list is an outstanding New Zealand Merlot priced at £16. Most bottles are priced at between £10 and £13.
Rigby's is proud to be traditional and you see that both in the food and the décor. Much of the homely farmhouse feel has been retained in the conversion and the bar area, with its brasses on the walls and oak beams, is a welcoming foretaste of the fine farmhouse food to come. The dining area, spread over several rooms, boasts splendid rural views if you snag the right table (ask for table 12 or 13). But the focus is on the food. Starters range from £3 to £5.50 and include the delicious Seafood Pancake. The most expensive main course is the Double Fillet Steak at £15 (which is the price you would pay for one in most restaurants). Chicken, salmon, duck and steak dishes all cost between £10 and £12. And despite being a farmhouse restaurant, vegetarians are well catered for too. Alternatively, if you are a committed carnivore, you won't want to miss the famous Rigby's Farmhouse Mixed Grill - a 10-ounce Sirloin Steak, lamb cutlet, gammon steak, pork chop, black pudding and sausage. You know it makes sense. . .
Last but not least, Rigby's passes the Tureen Test with flying colours. Your veg comes in a silver tureen, meaning you can help yourself to as much - or as little - as you want. What a pleasant change from having two baby carrots, one sprig of broccoli and a squirt of pureed potato hidden somewhere underneath your chicken breast. And how traditional.
Tel: 01772 632370
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