As residents we know the Olive Tree quite well but had not visited for a nmber of months as it had always been a little lacking in atmosphere and fllair.. After some recent very positive publicity concerning its food in the Guardian (which they are very keen to remind you about) we decided to give it another try. It has not improved. Their signature dish is 'The Spectacular' which is a sort of low grade boulliabasse - because of the reviews we all ordedred this. It was a great disappointment and is essentially a piece of fish , hake on our visit, laid across a pile of mussels. This sounds very appetising except that nearly all our mussel shells were empty - this was all 4 of us - and we each had three prawns and one scallop. That was it, except for some bread. It was NOT spectacular and very expensive - perhaps not for a Guardian journalist but certaily in this part of the world...............oh and there was also a carrot each. The price for the fish and shells nearly 18.00 each.Two of us had the most expensivbe starter, charcuterie - very disappointing. The various meats had been bought in from a supermarket and certainly not the one owned by John Lewis down the road. We had to ask for bread and when the waitress decided that I was saying 'bread' and not 'red'; I do not have a speech impediment and I could not quite work out what I could want that was 'red', brought us four small slices for the two of us, no butter was offered. This level of service typified a slow and rather disinterested level of staffing, The highlight was the rhubarb crumble, which was tasty is a school dinner kind of way. The overall cost for four with one mid - price bottle of wine was 135.00 which was we felt very expensibe for a reasonable piece of fish perched on a very large number of empty shells. Every time we have been to the Olive Tree we have vowed we would not go again , this time it is a definite no matter what The Guardian writes about it. Bridport has much better restaurants and THIS IS NOT as it claims 'one of the best fish restaurants in Dorset'.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
July 22, 2013
The Seafood Spectacular contains a minimum of 450g Mussels, 200g Clams, 150g prime fish fillet, 50g crayfish tail and 3 or 4 shelled tiger prawns 2 or 3 Lyme Bay Scallops [depending on size], & occasionally more ... depending on market prices. We don't serve empty shells, perhaps some of your mussels had fallen to the bottom of your bowl. All our meat & Charcuterie are supplied by a local high quality butcher. We regularly eat at other restaurants in Dorset and I've never found a three course meal & good bottle of wine for as little as the price you paid. We frequently get asked for 'more red' [wine] & rarely get asked for more bread as our portions are generous, so I was surprised by your comment about our waitress for wanting to be sure that we were getting your order right.
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