First impressions are said to be important. I think this is predominantly true of restaurants and watering holes, more than anything else. For example, taking a walk down West Street, you’ll come across some sad, dilapidated buildings that have been unloved and left to fester. Until you find yourself outside the warmly lit, grand frontage of Revolution. Walking in to a clean, polished ground floor bar, I took a seat with three colleagues below a large lit-up ‘vodka’ sign, giving the rustic-yet-modern interior a nod towards their ‘Vodka Revs’ days. Now a much more food-oriented venue, the versatility of the space is being used to its optimum. Chic wooden tables surrounded by soft leather banquettes and high barstool-like chairs give the main bar/ restaurant area a modern and attractive look, making customers of any walk of life feel at home.
Settling in and scanning our menus, we’re helpfully told by the knowledgeable staff that new additions have been made, which we’re all excited by. First off, cocktails. Running happy hour from 5-7pm (Monday – Friday), we find ourselves with a wealth of options to choose from – and they’re two for one. Two of us opt for the Long Island iced tea (£8.50), Revolution’s take of which delicately balances the long list of booze and Coca-Cola. Including Stoli vodka (naturally), Cointreau, Beefeater gin, Bacardi Carta Blanca rum and Olmeca tequila, these drinks quenched our thirst after an afternoon in the sunshine. The smooth taste had a nice hit of white rum at the back of the palate, making us feel very much on holiday. The other half of our group opted for guava coladas (£7.25) containing a tropical mix of Stoli vodka, Licor 43 (a fruity and citrusy Spanish liqueur), lime juice, pineapple juice and guava puree. Garnished with a mini umbrella and a slice of fresh pineapple, summer vibes were very much present and correct.
Our meals came quickly from the kitchen, starting with the delicious lobster ravioli (£10.50), cooked in with lobster, ricotta, pesto and Italian hard cheese. The flavours married up very well though a larger serving may have been good as it was hoovered up the second the plate hit the table! The new menu’s ‘Burger Off’ section drew the rest of our group in, served in a pretzel bun with fries (potato or sweet potato) and caulislaw, which is as it sounds – cauliflower slaw. A good amount of options meant there was something for everyone. I went for the black ‘n’ blue burger (£10.50): a patty smothered in blue cheese and piled up with garlic mushrooms and peppercorn sauce on the side. My succulent burger had many rich flavours to it so I didn’t go too heavy with applying the peppercorn. Being a huge lover of both garlic and mushrooms, I really enjoyed my meal, especially the crisp sweet potato fries on the side. Another burger chosen was the Brooklyn chicken (£9.75), consisting of the ever-popular buttermilk-fried chicken, streaky bacon, smoked cheddar, fried pickles and chipotle barbecue sauce. The chicken itself arriving tender and perfectly battered, being teamed with smoked cheddar and the BBQ sauce gave it an authentic southern-state heat that went down a treat.
Warranting its own paragraph, the last main to arrive was quite a spectacle. The mother clucker burger (12.95) is an absolute beast of a burger. Layered up with treat after treat, the bun encased a beef patty, corn battered chicken, smoked cheddar, streaky bacon, spicy chorizo sauce, sweet potato fries, crispy onions, smokinnaise AND barbecue fries, you’ve got to be damn hungry to attempt this one. As you can imagine, this burger is packed full of flavour and requires either cutlery or an inhumanly large mouth. The cheese melted down each layer of meat and almost glued the other components together, while the other fried sides packed in provided varied levels of seasoning so the burger just kept on giving. Amazingly, this particular colleague wolfed it down along with the standard caulislaw and a side of fries. It’s making me hungry just thinking about this mountainous triumph of beef, chicken and the gorgeous smokinnaise (yes, it is exactly what you’d imagine it to be).
With perhaps the biggest and nicely finished outside space in the area, and upper and lower floor each with its own bar and interior theme, Revolution is the place to go for almost any occasion. Especially for summer cocktails and adventurous burgers.
Revolution is at 77 West Street, Brighton, BN1 2RA.