Thursday, 7 April 2011

Rigalettos - Wigan

I'm not one for the beautiful game and I'm not one for rugby league, so I wasn't really excited about the prospect of eating in a football/rugby stadium: let alone one five minutes from where I work. However it was the Scouser's leaving do and I had hopes it may be a la Delia and the whole Canary Restaurant at Norwich City thing.



On pulling up I instantly knew this was no Delia. Rigalettos is located in the base of the stadium so it can be accessed when the stadium isn't open. The sign looked cheap and old and as I walked in the door so did the restaurant. Decked out as a Blackpool re-imagining of a 90s cartoon Italian trattoria - here was hoping that the food would be authentic trattoria. Unfortunately the food wasn't authentic, I wouldn't even class it as food.

We'd opted to keep it cheap and were dining off the early bird menu - even at that price the food was dire. I'd like to try and pick out a dish that at least shone through as a glimmer of hope in the whole evening; but I can't even say that of the drinks, let alone the food.

I ordered the bruschetta to start but was instead presented with two overly greasy pieces of garlic bread, dripping with oil, not tasting of garlic and with an insulting amount of insipid, cotton wool tomato mixed in with large chunks of onion. I won't even discuss the pointless, limpid lettuce on the side. The other Scouser's starter of garlic mushrooms were pale and I wouldn't call putting one in my mouth actual tasting as there wasn't any there.

Bruschetta - well Rigalettos' sorry excuse for one

For mains I'd ordered the seafood linguine and thought for the £1 surcharge I'd be on to a winner. Wrong. The pasta was terribly overcooked and soggy, the tomato sauce was under-seasoned and tasteless - almost as if it was just a thickened can of chopped tomatoes. And the seafood? I've eaten some terrible seafood in my time but this was actually inedible. The calamari was akin to chewing on tyres and the mussels had become hard and chalky; I think there may have been some tinned tuna in there but I really can't say. Needless to say I ate less that a third of the dish.

Seafood linguine - nearly as much as you see in this picture
was returned to the kitchen

I declined to spend the extra pound and order pudding, but in the spirit of gastronomic investigation on behalf of you, dear readers, I nicked some brownie off the Scotsman and all I can say is that the raspberries were nice.

I'm trying really hard to find something positive to say here - but they charged me over £8 for a G+T made with Beefeater and a glass of cheap white, so I'm struggling here. Er - the toilets were clean and the service was alright.

In all I wouldn't return to Rigalettos even if I was starving or needed somewhere to hide out whilst being chased by dissident rebel fighters. Rigalettos needs to make over it's sad, tired image and get someone who can actually knows what Italian food, or even cooking is, in the kitchen.

As fellow blogger Northern Food warned, "you'd be better sticking to balti pies in the stadium," too true.

Price for early bird menu - £8.95 for two courses, £9.95 for three (beware some of the dishes have a £1 surcharge).

Food - 1/10
Service - 6/10
Atmosphere - 3/10
Value for money - 3/10

Total - 13/40

Rigaletto's, DW Stadium, Loire Drive, Robin Park, Wigan WN5 0UH - 01942 774000
http://www.dwstadium.co.uk/rigalettos.phpdwstadium.co.uk/rigalettos.php

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