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“what has happened to the professional servers??”

Ophelia's on the Bay
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Ranked #9 of 42 Restaurants in Siesta Key
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $27 - $39
Cuisines: American, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Breakfast, Late Night, Delivery, Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Cross street: Stickney Point Road
Description: Ophelia's on the Bay is one of Sarasota's premier fine dining waterfront restaurants. Enjoy beautiful vistas of Little Sarasota Bay, from the floor-to-ceiling windows that line the dining room. Or join us for al fresco dining on our open-air patio, as the dolphins and manatee swim by. Winner of many awards both locally and nationally, including an Excellence rating from Zagat as well as being listed as the number one restaurant in America in Power and Motoryacht Magazine for dock and dine. Ophelia's on the Bay has also been voted most romantic, best waterfront and best restaurant with a view by its loyal customers. The menu changes nightly using fresh and seasonal ingredients, fresh fish flown in from all over the world and specialty meats. There is certainly something for every palate! We feature an extensive wine list, specialty martinis, as well as a full bar. Family owned and operated for over 27 years, we have an experienced staff that prides itself on exemplary service.
Bayport, New York
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“what has happened to the professional servers??”
Reviewed March 25, 2014

We have been avid fans of Ophelia's on the bay for many years, frequenting it often, usually for special occasions. We have always given it a five star rating, since it has been our favorite place to dine in the
Sarasota area.
This year, we have noticed that the staff that had been there for many years, has disappeared. The professional staff has been replaced by very young, untrained help.
When we checked in at the desk, a young lady took us, along with menus, to a table by the water, which we had requested when we called in our reservation. Upon our arrival at the table, she seemed confused, and asked us again what our name was and stated that she did not know if this was our table, but we should just stay there. Strange!!
Luckily, we had a veteran server, Annette, and the food and service were very good. The chef does a fabulous job with every single starter, salad, entree, and dessert.
Looking around, however, we noticed that not all of the tables were faring as well as we were.
It seems as though the changes at Ophelia's on the Bay have not been positive ones. With very few restaurants having waterfront access, I find this to be very upsetting.
Why have the veteran servers left Ophelia's? Who has replaced them? Obviously, people who are not professional "servers".. but simply "waiters" with little or no experience in fine dining.
Such a shame! It's time for the owners of this "jewel on the water" to reach back and bring back the old "Ophelia's".

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank pmk1105
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,068 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Oakville, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
140 reviews
105 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“not as good as before”
Reviewed March 23, 2014

When we came back to Sarasota this year one of the places we were looking forward to going back to was Ophelias. We were able to get a 1pm sitting for Sunday brunch but were disappointed. We found so many trays empty when we went up. They were out of cod, oysters, eggs and there was no one at the carvery to carve and no vegetables or potatoes to go with the meat. This is a pricey brunch but I feel that the 1pm sitting was left with whatever was leftover. Truly dissapointed and wouldn't go back

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank willie421
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Armagh, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
23 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Birthday treat for my wife”
Reviewed March 23, 2014 via mobile

Went to ophelia,s on the bay on Saturday night for my wife's birthday we are vacationing in the area and got this retaurant recommended to us .we arrived early and had a drink at there well stocked bar .we were then quickly seated to our reserved seat on the dock well what can I say fantastic setting . The server introduced himself and filled our water glasses we the choose a fantastic wine from there superb wine list .we then browsed the menu my wife choose shrimp spring rolls for her starter I chose mussels both were delicious for the mains my wife had fillet minion and I has the New York strip both cooked to perfection all in all a fantastic meal with a fantastic setting for a special occasion it's a must .

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
Thank Ian R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Massachusetts
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Fine dining on the dock”
Reviewed March 22, 2014

Each year when we are on Siesta Key, we make it a point to have dinner at Ophelia's. Each year it is better than the last. The food is great, but, the portions are small. We eat outside on the dock. It is a great setting.

The only parking is by valet. The space they park the cars is very small so in order to return a car, often they need to move one or more cars parked in front of it. If you are in a hurry, this is not the right restaurant for you.

They have a significant wine and drink list.

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank thirstycamel9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winchester, Massachusetts
1 review
“Average food, high prices, loud diners, beautiful setting”
Reviewed March 20, 2014 via mobile

Food was just OK, a bit over seasoned. Prices were high, and only made possible by the nice bayside setting for outdoor dining. Much more so than at other upscale Siesta Key restaurants, too many diners here were very loud and thoughtless of others, with behavior more appropriate for a bar than a restaurant. We were disappointed.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
Thank Barbara K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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