It was steaks all round – for the grown-ups at least – as we visited Berwick’s newest restaurant for a family celebration.
The Grill on the Hill is the refurbished incarnation of what was Berlino’s Steakhouse on West Street.
Managed by Anna McLintic, with head chef Robert Ferrier in the kitchen, the restaurant has already established a good reputation, so we were keen to see for ourselves.
One of the attractions, we felt, was that its menu offered something for everyone, a feat which is not always easy to achieve for a family gathering and with a range of dietary requirements to consider.
With young children in tow, we were among the early birds for our midweek evening meal and it was understandably quiet.
However, we were reliably informed that it has been busy at weekends and with the school holidays looming is likely to get busier still through the week.
On arrival, the exterior – despite clearly having been given a makeover – is still a little unprepossessing.
However, this could perhaps be as much to do with the general state of West Street at the moment, partly closed off while a major renovation of the nearby former Cowe’s cockle shop takes place.
Any doubts were quickly erased when we stepped inside and saw the attractively refurbished restaurant and a dozen or so smartly presented tables.
We were warmly welcomed by staff, shown to our table and presented with an extensive menu.
First things first though and we first had to select some wine!
We chose a bottle of Chilean Sauvignon Blanc which disappeared swiftly. Perhaps the thirst-inducing chilli popcorn placed on our table was the reason!
There were some tempting starters on the menu but we decided to give them a miss to focus on the main course, with a mind to having a little room left for dessert.
And so it came to be that all four adults ordered steak – a pair of peppercorn ribeyes, an 8oz sirloin and a fillet thermidore.
As soon as they arrived, we were pretty pleased that we hadn’t ordered starters – the dishes were substantial!
My peppercorn ribeye, served with chunky chips, grilled tomatoes, mushrooms and salad, was absolutely delicious. I did feel that my steak was a little over the medium-cooked that I had requested but that is only an observation rather than a gripe.
Sometimes, peppercorns can destroy all other elements of the dish with their fiery flavour but these red peppercorns were just enough to give it a little bit of a kick.
Reports from others around the table were equally complimentary, the fillet thermidore being particularly appetising.
By this time we were well on to a second bottle of wine, this time a pleasant Australian Merlot.
The children, meanwhile, not yet adventurous enough to contemplate an 8oz steak, were happy in their choices.
Both went for breaded cod goujons with French fries and salad but they would have been just as pleased with a number of other options on the children’s menu, ranging from tomato pasta with garlic bread to cheese burger with fries and coleslaw.
A bonus for them is that all children’s meals include free squash.
The desserts were also delicious, though it was a bit of a struggle to fit it in. Sometimes you’ve just got to plough on though!
My selection was the honeycomb and Belgian waffle crunch, with ice cream and butterscotch toffee sauce. It was very tasty.
Others went for crème brûlée and salted caramel tart, which were lovely.
And daughter’s initial disappointment that there was no chocolate brownie left was swiftly overcome when a bowl of ice cream and fruit appeared.
Overall, we were very pleased with our choice of restaurant for the evening.
The Grill on the Hill has a lot of good things going for it and would appear to fill a bit of a gap in the Berwick foodie market. It is certainly a welcome addition.
The Grill on the Hill is on West Street, Berwick, in the premises previously occupied by Berlino’s Steakhouse.
It is open every day except Sunday from 11am until late.
The nearest parking is on Eastern Lane, just a 75metre walk.
SELECTION FROM THE MENU
The Grill on the Hill chowder......£5.50
Chilli king prawns......£6.75
Potted smoked haddock......£5.50
Cajun roast salmon......£11.95
Pan-seared sea bream......£10.50
Scallops with black pudding......£14.50
8oz stirloin steak......£14.50
Roasted vegetables & halloumi......£8.75
Triple chocolate brownie......£5.50
Honeycomb & waffle crunch......£5.95
Salted caramel tart......£6.75
STAR RATINGS (out of 10)
Quality of food......9
Use of local food......7
Value for money......8
Access for the disabled......9
Toilet for the disabled......No
Verdict: The Grill on the Hill is a welcome addition to the Berwick food scene, offering a wide-ranging menu that will offer something for most tastes. The restaurant has been tastefully refurbished by the new owners and we received a warm welcome.
Contact: 01289 302955