What glorious weather the Isle of Wight enjoyed in early June! Good job too, as otherwise the music festival would have been a wash-out...

What glorious weather the Isle of Wight enjoyed in early June! Good job too, as otherwise the music festival would have been a wash-out and Seaclose Park remodelled as a quagmire to rival last year’s Bestival mudbath.

Olivo, Ryde

Making the most of the sunshine, M and C put on their paddling clogs and tippytoed at the Appley beach’s water’s edge, cooling their bunions in the limpid waters of the Solent. They interrupted this recreation for a cream tea at Puckpool Tea Gardens, eating their scones under a shady vine.

The leisurely day continued with dinner at Olivo, the new kid on Union Street’s block. Situated in what was historically the old post office, the building’s previous incumbent was the ambitious Smithfields. Alas, that restaurant closed for reasons not known to Matt and Cat, although they hypothesise that maybe the carrying capacity of Union Street for big, vaguely Mediterranean eateries had been exceeded. Or perhaps it was just too large a building to sustainably maintain. For whatever reason, it would be a brave or confident business that would take on such a vast venue. Now, one such has stepped forward. Does Olivo have what it takes?

Pizza Fiorentino

Having established impeccable restaurant credentials with its Newport branch – a Matt and Cat favourite – the Olivo team was certainly a contender to take on this empty behemoth. The fitters have left, the façade has been spruced up in a pleasing shade of olive and there’s a couple of little olive trees flanking the door. Matt and Cat detected a theme.

And there’s been more than a lick of paint applied. The bar has been opened out and the interior has been rusticated, a brick wall here, hefty ironmongery there. The menu too, is different from the Newport version; in Ryde, Olivo has incorporated a tapas menu from its Twickenham branch. Will it be as good as that of the nearby Black Sheep Bar? Matt and Cat may find out on another visit; tonight they ate from the main menu.

Matt and Cat’s bill
Pizza Fiorentina £8.25
Venison £13.95
Salad £2.95
Deserts x2 £10.50
2 beers £5.90
Apple juice £1.85
2 Coffees £3.50
Total: £46.90
Venison

Seemingly recognised by the waitress (presumably as regulars to her Newport branch) it wasn’t long before M and C were seated in the dining room. Matt and Cat’s more child-intolerant friends started going to Olivo, Newport; having boycotted both Pizza Hut and Pizza Express because of their popularity for children’s parties. Unlike the cosy and intimate – some might say cramped – environment in Newport, Olivo Ryde is such a barn that there’s plenty of room for all generations. On the day that M and C visited there were several families with children, patiently colouring and generally behaving better than their typical counterparts in some establishments. It was the last day of the Isle of Wight Festival and Cat overheard one of the children’s female minders remark wearily that the men had all gone to the festival and left them with the kids. Judging by the festival’s line up, the women got the better deal…

Crème brûlée

Discussing the kid-friendliness of a venue is a bit of a minefield. For some, if an eatery proclaims itself to be for over eighteens only it is seen as being unnecessarily exclusive. After all, how are children expected to learn how to behave in a restaurant if they are not allowed in? In the other corner, those who would like to eat without some tiny yelling Herbert running uncontrolled around the dining room are accused of being child-hating Nazis. So it is pleasing when these opposites are occasionally reconciled. Olivo managed to be both child-friendly and yet grown up. Perhaps it was that the children in this instance were too tired to yelp.

Strudel

Either way, Matt and Cat’s perusal of the menu was not in any way disrupted by the behaviour of the other diners, old or young. Once their orders had been taken, your reviewers sat back in their chairs and supped their drinks, reflecting on comments made on this site about Union Street’s newest venue. There have been complaints that the service is extremely slow (see comments below) and, to test out this theory Matt glanced surreptitiously at his watch when he gave the food order. 7pm precisely.

With unexpected promptness Matt and Cat’s food arrived. Perhaps Matt had not been as discreet as he thought when he looked at his watch – or perhaps M & C really had been recognised. The place was filling up and yet they only had to wait a not unreasonable twenty minutes for their food to arrive. Having barely had time to salivate Matt examined then tasted his dinner: venison medallions. Spiced medallions of thick, tender meat, with roasted wedge potatoes and shitake mushrooms were accompanied by a fresh mint and raspberry sauce. It was nearly the most expensive dish on the menu; a truly generous and well-presented pile of melt-in-the-mouth meat. He was soon in raptures, declaring it to be ‘the best venison he’d ever had’. M and C also shared a fresh side salad – at extra cost – as the venison had no accompanying greens.

Cat’s rather more pedestrian choice of pizza Fiorentina – pizza topped with spinach, egg, olives, Parmesan and garlic – looked like it might have been cooked a bit too long, perhaps waiting for Matt’s dinner to be ready. The pizza crust was one click away from burnt, only just the right side of crispy and the egg had really been done an injustice. Instead of the runny-yolked (or even soft yolked) treat Cat was anticipating, the egg had been heated to dessication. The yolk was powdery and the white had mostly disintegrated. Still, the dish was livened up with a generous additional serving of grated Parmesan and black pepper plus as much garlic oil as The Cat could need. It still wasn’t much to write home about and contrasted with Matt’s successful choice of dish. This was the first dud that Cat had eaten at Olivo – it had to happen sooner or later.

Not to be put off, M and C ordered dessert. Matthew chose the crème brûlée, an excellent little ramekin of really good smoky tasting pudding with a yummy contrast between the burnt top and the sweetness under the caramelised lid. It was served with a welcome dollop of ice cream and a little chocolate favour. Nice! Cat had strudel and pistachio ice cream. Unlike its German counterpart, Italian strudel is not fruity, more a nutty cheesy concoction. The ice cream was spectacular, melting slowly over the pastry to make a sweet savoury combo. Both puddings were washed down with coffee.

Soon it was time to go. Looking at the bill whilst writing this review, Matt and Cat paid at 8.30pm – an hour and a half for dinner, dessert and coffee. It seemed that on that day at least, the teething troubles experienced by this new venue were overcome. Judging by more recent comments, Olivo has stepped up a gear. Although M and C had significantly different levels of satisfaction with their main courses, they know that this is a trusted brand and will definitely be making a return visit.

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  • Nikki

    19th September 2012 #1 Author

    Why have I never visited this place before???!
    Went for a celebratory meal here last week with my mother who was over visiting and words can not describe the experience other than heaven!
    From starter of bruschetta and a plate full of Italian meats and cheeses to our wonderful pasta specials (I never eat pasta when out so this was a real enticed option for me) to puddings of fudge, sorbet and waffles. Lovely staff who catered for children, patiently waited for my very indecisive mother and never rushed us for our table despite not booking and turning up off the street. A gorgeous restaurant with beautiful food and highly highly recommended for those visiting Ryde.

    Reply

  • pixie tots

    28th August 2012 #2 Author

    I am surprised by the comments left over this weekend as I too ate at Olivos in Ryde over the Bank Holiday.No sign of bad service,although the place was packed out and the atmosphere was certainly lively,we had attentive,smiling servers.The food itself was served in a reasonable time,well presented and full of flavour(there were six of us,all choosing different dishes).Maybe you were unlucky enough to catch them on a bad day,but judging on personal experience this place still rocks.

    Reply

  • eric m

    27th August 2012 #3 Author

    Oh dear, so it wasn’t just us (a couple of weeks ago – see earlier comment).
    What a shame this restaurant has gone downhill so fast.

    Thank goodness we have the likes of Dan’s Kitchen and Lockslane where you are treated so well and the food is very good. Worth a trip out to these and other establishments, but it means one of us can’t drink because of the car/drive. A small price to pay in exchange for a good night out and no disappointments.

    Thanks Olivo’s for the good times, but its time you had a good look at yourselves.

    Reply

  • mandy

    27th August 2012 #4 Author

    Have just come back from lunch a Olivos in ryde and im beyond disappointed.

    Its mine and my partners anniversary today and we decided to go for lunch there as we have had a lot of good meals over the years in both Olivos.

    We stood in the door way for a few minutes and no member of staff seemed bothered that we where standing there. As a waiter walked past we asked if we could take a seat in one of the many empty tables and he said yes.

    We had seated ourselves and had a little chat while we waited for menus. Then we waited and waited and waited some more, after around 15 minutes of watching the staff talking to each other at the coffee counter i ended up have to ask a wondering member of staff for some menus. In retrospect this could have been the clue that this meal was not going to be good and we should have left.

    After looking over the menus we ordered 2 of the roast beef and drinks.

    The food came and other than the beef being over cooked it was quite a nice plate of food. once we had finished our meals we decided that we would have dessert and then a round of coffees, all we needed was for some one to clear our plates so we could ask for dessert menu.

    I’ve had the debate with friends before over how long you should have to wait for your plates to be cleared, don’t get me wrong i do not want my plate whipped away from me the moment the last fork of food has touched my lips. I’ve also had meals where i have been given no option and just brought the bill over as the table was cleared.

    Today the staff decided they where not going to clear the table, offer desserts/coffee or bring the bill. They decided to forget that we existed, we waited and waited and waited again but no one bothered. By this point i was pretty upset (i must say normally it would not have bothered me so much but today all i wanted was a carefree relaxing anniversary lunch and what i ended up with was a battle to even be served)

    I think if the restaurant was full and they had few staff i would have been a lot more forgiving but with a half empty restaurant and at least 5 or 6 waiting staff i felt like they really did not care at all.

    Ended up getting up and waiting by the till paying and leaving.

    will not be back again.

    Reply

  • eric m

    15th August 2012 #5 Author

    Standards appear to be slipping at this once favourite restaurant.
    The service on Saturday evening was dreadful. We had to keep asking where our food was, both for starters and mains.
    Granted it was busy, but others seated around us were served much quicker and with a smile. (we only noticed this because we had an empty food table in front of us for so long) I suppose the waitresses thought we were looking for trouble by our unnecessary requests, but all we wanted was to have a nice celebration evening and we didn’t get that. As for the food – well it was ok, but you somehow lose interest after a disappointing wait. Even the white wine was served in very warm glasses. Sad to say, we shall not return.

    Reply

  • Mattfromryde

    6th April 2012 #6 Author

    We had a great lunch today, the chicken skewers with yogurt were top quality.

    Reply

  • charlie

    15th February 2012 #7 Author

    We love Olivos, both Ryde & Newport.
    I just tried to book a table in Ryde and the background noise was intolerable. When I could hear her, the person who answered the ‘phone gave me incoherent answers to my questions and quite frankly I gave up. I was told of two different sets of closing times for the same night within that conversation. Sadly, unless we just call in “on spec” we shall have to go elsewhere. Tramping the streets on a winter evening isn’t the best way to start an evening celebration though.
    OK, so the place was busy – great, but I think a little better customer service would be appreciated, plus answering the phone in a quieter part of the restaurant might be advantageous to future customers.

    Reply

  • Loren and Jim

    10th July 2011 #8 Author

    Had lovely lemon sole in here for lunch today and it was fantastic!
    Jim had the chicken off the new menu and we both shared the summer tiramisu which was beautiful. We love it here!

    Reply

  • Natascha

    3rd May 2011 #9 Author

    Have been back a few times since my first couple of visits, and the service has improved a lot. The pizza’s are as good as ever, and I think the best in Ryde. Lovely wine, reasonable choice for veggies and a nice venue.

    Reply

  • Downfromtown

    27th April 2011 #10 Author

    We go to Olivo almost every time we’re down, which is usually about once every couple of months. Hadn’t made it down so far this year until a couple of weeks ago, and then again last weekend. Managed to fit in one visit. Re-affirmed why we go there. Never had anything even bordering a bad experience. We’d been somewhere else for lunch the same day, a litte bit further down the same side of the road – the food was dreadful (although the service was womderful). By contrast, food in Olivo is excellent. Really. Doughball starter that shows up why Pizza Express is full of chldren, and the Adriatica pizza and a seafood risotto for main. Both great, although risotto pipped it (so we shared). Magnificent cheesecake and a 1972 brandy, served in a snifter on it’s side over a glass of warm water (never seen that, should have done). Had cocktails instead of wine, which is unusual, but then it’s all so good, you can do unusual. So many restaurants around that should and could be this good, but aren’t.

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  • MaryJ

    16th April 2011 #11 Author

    Don’t know what all you lot are complaining about! I just came away from Olivo today after a very nice lunch indeed. The service was as brilliant as ever. The team (two lads and a very pleasant blonde haired girl) were excellent. Even when looking pretty stretched they handled everything with a smile. Absolutely superb service guys. You’re really on top of your game. I’m very glad to see the nice blonde haired waiter back there too… I thought he’d left & was actually a little sad at the thought of it. It’s not just the tasty food that will keep me going back. Yum!

    Reply

  • MintyMat

    26th March 2011 #12 Author

    What a terrible shame. Food ok but service awful. Moody and miserable. Took over an hour for food to arrive. Menu fussy and using out of season products. I won’t be going back until I hear things have changed. I want to love Olivo’s again!

    Reply

  • mandy

    2nd March 2011 #13 Author

    i know its sad to see it slide. if you do go back please drop a few comments of how it was, maybe i got them on a bad day?

    Reply

  • gerry

    2nd March 2011 #14 Author

    Latest Olivio reports very worrying.
    What has been going on? (or not?)
    We’ve been away for a few weeks and love our visits but do we venture back given the poor reviews? Probably at the weekend, but how easily some places slide out of favour.

    Reply

  • mandy

    1st March 2011 #15 Author

    Very disappointed, let me start by saying i love this place, going at least every other weekend so i know of the normal quality and portion size. Went in for lunch on Monday, me and my partner ordered a wrap each. my partners salmon wrap was lacking the described spring onion mayo. my lamb kofta wrap had a stupid amount of red onion to the point that i found a whole uncut onion root. The seasoned potato cubes that came on the side of each where cold and the red cabbage coleslaw seemed to have been purified to mush. i felt that the quality seems to have been sacrificed to save money, it was notable there was no where near the amount of salmon as normal and just seemed to have no care at all. totally puts me off going again, will have to find somewhere else for lunch in ryde.

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  • craigIOW

    23rd January 2011 #16 Author

    went here for lunch today to elebrate a friends birthday. great service and great menu but its know where near up to scratch with newport!

    3 of our table had steaks, two were undercooked and incredibly chewy! i had the venison which was cooked amazingly however the side of spinach(which sounded like a good idea) came out and was clearly the packeted frozen into block cheap stuff you find in the freezer at any supermarket.

    wouldnt have minded so much paying 8-9 pounds,
    but the steaks were £17 and venison @ £16! where is the profit going? also the sauce i had was wonderful but the chef had clearly bought in pre made raspberry coulis which is fine however i had it on the plate on top of my gravy so i had hot gravy but raspberry coulis which had just come out of the fridge. (just needs to be put in the pan guys)!!

    id reccomend the owners going to have a look and trying to get the equivilent service of newport!

    unfortunately wont be visiting again

    Reply

  • Roger

    2nd November 2010 #17 Author

    We called in for breakfast last Sunday. No-one in the barn at the back, but the front bar area was pretty full.
    We ordered tea and two ‘four rashers’ breakfasts. The tea came immediately – the breakfasts about three quarters of an hour later. The problem seems to lie in the kitchen – only three or four hot food orders appeared while we were waiting. The tea was far too strong with two full size teabags in a pot of tea for one, and when asked for more hot water, it was brought in a tiny milk jug. The food was excellent – four rashers of fantastic tender bacon on fresh ciabatta bread with a side salad and crispy deep-fried potatoes.
    We’ll be going back – but only if we have plenty of time and a flask of hot water with us!

    Reply

  • simon

    15th September 2010 #18 Author

    Our favorite restaurant in Ryde.We manage about 4 visits a year and find it consistently good.It is always a treat to eat there.Went in yesterday and had a lovely squid ink spaghetti with prawns,squid and crayfish.I like to take a bit of a gamble with the specials boards!The place was very busy and the two waiting staff had there work cut out but managed admirably with a smile on their faces.Had a slight problem with my desert which was sorted out quickly with no fuss.The only gripe is the wine list starts at £14 a bottle.Maybe i am just being a bit tight
    An enjoyable experience as ever

    Reply

  • Maria Esther Callaghan

    23rd August 2010 #19 Author

    We visited a very dear friend yesterday and went to Olivo to celebrate her 82th,birthday.We had a delicious meal, my husband had one the best steaks ever and the pasta dishes were just right as for the service, it was excellent, the staff even managed to present our friend with an ice cream with a candle on top and sung happy birthday!!! Thanks to the staff for a great meal and service , we will surely come to Olivo again when visiting the Island.

    Reply

  • bushy

    22nd August 2010 #20 Author

    Took a couple of business colleagues from the North Island for lunch on Friday, and we had a superb meal with excellent service. We shared tapas portions of calamare and chorizo to start with, then they both went for the sea bass which they declared perfect. I had the penne with tuna which was also excellent. As an added bonus, the children’s carnival procession put in an appearance after lunch!

    Reply

  • Tracey and Steve

    1st August 2010 #21 Author

    We walked in off the street, to be asked had we booked. The place was not full and did not reach capacity whilst we were there.
    The food is delicious and was ready in good time but was sat waiting for waitress service under heat lamps.
    The kitchen is open and you could see the chef getting fed up of waiting for service.
    I made it obvious to the waiting staff I was watching them. One came over and asked was there a problem.
    I said ‘you do not have enough waiting staff’ and was told a member of staff was ill.
    If you have an evening to spare the quality of the food is worth the wait

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  • Ben

    11th June 2010 #22 Author

    SO GOOD WE ATE THERE TWICE!

    Stayed in Ryde for a week and ended up eating here on our first
    and last nights.

    Food was really good, staff were knowledgeable about their
    menu and couldn’t have been more helpful or welcoming
    (especically with our two under 6s).

    Reply

  • Looby

    30th March 2010 #23 Author

    Lunch today. Food excellent, service much better than the last few visits. Busy which was brilliant considering it was wet and windy Tuesday in Union St. I would definately recommend the place.

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  • Bevonian

    15th March 2010 #24 Author

    Food okay; good menu choices. Service can be patchy. Standards of customer service are variable and the staff obviously need a lot more training.

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  • anon

    1st March 2010 #25 Author

    Having had some bad experiences here – once with a hair in my pasta and another with substandard service I was persuaded to give Olivo’s another chance. Being in the industry I understand you can have bad services and certainly teething problems on opening. I actually went twice in one week recently and don’t have a single complaint. The service was friendly, efficient and quick and the food was delicious, I noticed a few changes to the menu which were very welcome. Will now happily go back

    Reply

  • Down from town

    27th February 2010 #26 Author

    I stand corrected, and even more impressed. Popping in for a coffee 4 months after we had supper there and writing about it on here, the excellent waitress/maitre d’ recognised me, thanked me for my review and mentioned that they do have Amarone, Barolo, and Barbaresco etc in the cellar. Good latte, although I’m not a great fan of the ubiquitous glass, and was effortlessly sold on the idea of a slice of pear and chocolate cake, which was jolly good too. Food is great, no-one seems to dispute that, and (I’ve been in for a coffee 3 or 4 times recently) service that I’ve always found to be either excellent or about the best service possible. I love it in there. I know they look on here, and they respond to it, so maybe the odd little hiccough in service that some people seem to experience can be ironed out. Big fan.

    Reply

  • Mat

    17th February 2010 #27 Author

    Had lunch here today. The atmosphere was great, buzzing with people enjoying ‘deli’ size portions of pasta and pizza for £5.95. I went for a feta and rocket salad ciabatta. It came with delicious, light and crunch fried potatoes and a tasty side salad with shredded red cabbage. However, the sandwich was light on the feta and the ciabatta was cold and a bit chewy. I still ate every scrap.

    The Italian lager was a nice surprise too, the well-informed waitress describing the qualities of the lagers on tap.

    Service was fast, friendly and professional. It seems like they’ve listened to feedback on this.

    Looking forward to going again.

    Mat

    Reply

  • D

    3rd January 2010 #28 Author

    3 more reviews…
    #1. After the excellent meal and service I received at Olivo’s for my friends Birthday I selected this venue again to take my Wife, Mother and 13-month old daughter out for some lunch-time tapas early December. I won’t bore you with a run-down of all the 8 dishes we had but I can confirm that the quality ranged from good to excellent so tapas lovers won’t be disappointed – the service was great again too.
    #2. The same crowd minus my Mother were invited here again for Xmas Eve lunch – once again great service and the incredibly rich but not too large Pork Belly was lovely.
    #3. Oh dear – I went here yesterday and now know what some of the reviewers are talking about when they complain about the service – my Wife, daughter and I were seated, told there would be a 15-minute wait and waited… and waited… and waited. After over half an hour of seeing other people (who had arrived after us) have their orders taken and food delivered we realised we had been forgotten about. By this time my little girl was bored and fractious so we had no choice but to leave without so much as even being given a menu. An extended wait on a Saturday lunch-time I have no problem with but being seated then ignored for half an hour whilst others around you are served is inexcusable. I don’t blame the staff who when very busy allways seem to cope well but there’s definately an organisation problem somewhere here. Sort it out guys before you’re as long-forgotten as Smithfields!

    Reply

  • D

    9th November 2009 #29 Author

    I went here a couple of weeks ago for a friend’s birthday – having enjoyed Olivo in Newport several times I was certainly looking forward to the occasion. The resaturant was packed to the rafters with some big groups including ours making for a lively atmosphere. After we were all seated our waiter for the evening greeted us and promptly took and delivered our drinks orders. His service was in fact excellent – we ordered garlic pizza breads to share for our starter and were given the option of our main courses immediately after the starter or with a little break.

    Overall I couldn’t fault the service or food and will definately be going back!

    Contrary to some of the reviews above we were even able to choose when we wanted our meals served – you don’t get that service often. Our waiter also picked up on the fact it was a birthday and discretely asked if we would like a candle on the birthday girl’s cake – again great service! On to the food – for our starter they served 3 types of garlic pizza bread – one plain, one tomato and one with anchovies – all were very tasty. For my main course I had a seafood calzone which was glorious. It was absolutely perfectly cooked and seasoned and pleasantly stuffed with filling. In size it was impressive too – looking a little like a giant’s cornish pasty with alternating drizzles of pizzaola sauce and fresh pesto over the top. My wife had the Tagliatelle Pollo which had a delicious rich and slightly sticky sauce. Unfortunatley my enormous pasty-esque pizza had filled me to the gills so I couldn’t manage a dessert but I did get to try a little of a rich and moist chocolate cake donated by a friend – for true chocolate lovers it was a real treat with obviously a very high cocoa content – yummy! At the end of the meal we were treated to a complimentary Limoncello – not everyone’s cup of tea but it was well chilled the way it should be and I find it a nice zingy palette cleanser. Overall I couldn’t fault the service or food and will definately be going back!

    Reply

  • Down from town

    24th October 2009 #30 Author

    No whiff of the poor service mentioned in other reviews, very much the opposite being our experience. Turned up at about 6.45 having not booked, we were offered a space at the bar – the only seats remaining. Not sure we were up for that we tottered off down the road to search out alternatives but nothing appealed. A bit surprised that everywhere else was empty, when Olivo was so full. We went back and found out why. Service was excellent, food was even better, none of the staff are Italian, but that doesn’t matter. I had belly of pork, she had duck, we drank a perfectly good French merlot, and a starter of antipasto to share. Had to get a doggy bag for the rest of the duck, would have had pudding had there not already been a need for the doggy bag. Less the 60 quid, a bargain where we’re from, and better food than we’ve had in a long time. All I’d change is the wine list – surely there’s room for a Barolo, some Amarone, even a bit of Barbera, in a restaurant with some Italian leanings?

    Reply

  • Emily

    15th October 2009 #31 Author

    Olivo in Ryde is a personal favourite of mine and all of my friends!
    sometimes the service is a bit slow but i think it depends on who you get- not everyone can be perfect all the time.
    Only ever had one negative experience and that was with the bar man who didnt quite get the idea that i wanted pinot grigio not “whatever white wine he found”.
    myself and friends go regularly and the food is sublime!
    Went to the newport one for the first time last week- was attrocious! the caesar salad was disgustingly greasy and meagre and the chicken burnt to a crisp. definately sticking to Ryde!!!

    Reply

  • Alice & co

    12th September 2009 #32 Author

    I’ve been to Olivo in Ryde a number of times now and am quite sad to see them picking up so many negative comments.

    I personally have never seen such good service on the island whilst dining in this price bracket and find the food and atmosphere to be top notch!

    In fact we visited this restaurant over the mod weekend and again recently on the night of the ryde carnival. On both occasions we were part of a larger party (6 people) and were seated to the rear of the premisis. They were crazily busy!

    It was pleasant to find the (at least some of the) staff dressed in rather modest, but fitting fancy dress each time – masquarade masks for the carnival and trilbys for the mods… the staff look as if they’re really having fun and I find myself a little resentfull that staff at my place at work do not show such enthusiasm or natural ability for service.

    No-one else comes close on the island right now and I’m thinking if you’ve had a bad experience you really should go back and try again.

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  • natascha

    1st August 2009 #33 Author

    We have been there twice now and agree re the waiting time. However, the venue and food more than make up for it. My only negative comment would be about the pannecotta which had a strange texture and not much flavour. We will definitley be back though.

    Matt and Cat respond: funnily enough we had some pannecotta there this week. it sounds as if you had the same thing. It was the texture of rubber, and indeed Matt amused himself by bouncing his spoon off it. It also tasted vaguely rubbery. No way up to the standard of the first courses. Mind you, we didn’t wait too long.

    Reply

  • Looby

    31st July 2009 #34 Author

    Ate there Tuesday evening…..We eat in the Newport restaurant quite often and have never been disappointed however I am reserving judgement re Ryde.
    Service was pleasant enough but very slow and the one waiter really needed a little nudge in the direction of the shower and a good deoderant.
    Meal its self- starters OK but tiny in size, I had the chicken and my friend the venison-both very salty and if i am honest it was all a little bit overcooked- we reckon they were having an off night so we will go back

    Reply

  • Roy Magee

    23rd July 2009 #35 Author

    Well, I read the mixed reviews and all I can say is that it is the best food I have tasted so far on the Island. The Sea Bass risotto I had for lunch recently was superb, mixed flavours and wonderful texture.I have travelled extensively and stayed and eaten in the best places.This was up there with the best.

    Reply

  • karen

    13th July 2009 #36 Author

    my family have been to olivos every sunday lunch for the past 3 weeks – we love it ….. a bit pricey but yummy food – my husband loves the duck yum yum !! to those who had to wait , its hard to cook for 8 -16 people and get it all out at once so give them a break – as long as you enjoyed what came out whats the problem – id like to see you do any better !!!!!

    Reply

  • Rachael

    7th July 2009 #37 Author

    My friend and I went to Olivo’s Ryde for lunch and when we arived they tired to sit us on a little table in the corner, as we were having tapas we asked to move to a bigger table, they didn’t really want us to move but they did move us, eventualy ! The food come quickly but in stages so we couldn’t enjoy the whole rage of tapas together, abit disappointing but the food was great and so was the service !!
    Will be going back again soon.

    Reply

  • Lisa Martin

    2nd July 2009 #38 Author

    I ate at Olivo last week upon recommendation from a friend and our party of six had a lovely meal.

    I had the venison which was cooked just right and was beautiful – best venison I have ever had!

    The restaurant was very busy but we did not have to wait too long between courses – just the right amount of time

    The service by the waiting staff was also very good – we were asked a couple of times if everything was ok and there was always a member of staff on hand if we needed more drinks.

    The food was fantastic and well worth the money – I will be going back next time I am over on the IOW

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  • tim

    25th June 2009 #39 Author

    had dinner here last night. it was very busy…. people at door trying to get tables, really lively atmosphere. we were a party of 8 and i couldn’t fault the service. there were a couple of glitches, like a pasta/chicken/asparagus dish arriving without the chicken (!), but these were dealt with in a fast, friendly and professional manner. an operation on this scale is going to have teething troubles, i feel this will be a real addition to the IOW dining scene. i’ll definitely be back.

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  • Nicola Wroath-Bailey

    24th June 2009 #40 Author

    My husband went in on monday to book a table for the evening at 7.30pm and the young lady said it would be ok, then a much older lady came over and told him that she wouldnt have a table until 8.30 – 8.45pm. My husband pointed out that there were still lots of places available on the booking sheet at 7.30 and was told they were tables of 4 and she would not put 2 people on them. It was a monday night! when we walked past at 7.30 on our way down to Michaelangelos it had very few people in, not a good policy we will not go there now as she doesnt seem to want the business.

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  • Two Veggies

    22nd June 2009 #41 Author

    Like you say, you were recognised as “VIP’s, Very Important Payers”. There were plenty of unhappy wouldbe punters when we visited, the bods who were asked to leave due to no food being available were the most disgruntled. They complained of starvation and “Could the restaurant do anything please”? It made an offering of a small six set of olives; “tuts” all round. Every newbie has teething problems and shamedly teeth well and truely flew out here. What we can’t seem to get our heads round is after all the dismembering that went on and on for weeks, what exactly is the big difference from the good gentleman, Mr Whitehead’s, Smithfields???

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  • matt

    22nd June 2009 #42 Author

    Went there 2 weeks after it opened and had a shocker. Food was ok but the service was terrible. They were not busy but 2 courses took just under 3 hours, and the only reason we ever got food or drink was by approaching the bar and asking for it,the waitresses appeared to be on another planet.

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  • OC

    21st June 2009 #43 Author

    After leaving Blacksheeps bar very hungry yesterday we headed up the road and were magically drawn into Olivos.
    We were most pleasantly surpised with what was made out of the venue there, the friendly service (no obvious need for bouncers here either…) and of course they would serve us (at 9.45 by then), she just needed to clean up a table.
    The second surprise was the menue which contains about half the now “traditional” Newport fare, half different dishes, many of them, guess what- tapas.
    The service was -almost- up to the high standards met in Newport -the tapas – we ordered six- were excellent, and the atmosphere most pleasant. Outstanding on the tapas side was the quality of the ingridients – the serrano for example was so good it could have been in Spain -and a mussle tapa with couscous and squid cooked together, dates filled with goats cheese and fried in serrano ham, and pork chops in apple sauce- great.
    Had some cocktails to start with and their variation of a Martini is certainly worth sampling…
    Had just about space for one desert which was a Ricotta strudel with some very good quality pistaccio ice cream…
    Have to be back for more and try how they do the “normal” dishes. The prices are fair as well- seems somebody has already picked up the chance I thought was mised by the blacksheeps bar. About time that late night dining means more than just curry (although we like this on occasions, too…)

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  • Lesley

    17th June 2009 #44 Author

    I have to agree with Helen (above). We were a party of 16 ladies, booked for 7.30pm. It took ages for anyone to take our orders. We didn’t get our meals until 9.15pm!! we were starving. The meals were very nice, a bit on the small side, ok for us ladies, but I don’t think my menfolk would have been satisfied. Nearby tables had much better service than we had, in fact one table had 2 lots of diners before we were even eating our main. Needless to say only a few of us had sweets and no time left for coffee, as they were clearing up around us – about 11pm by that time. The bill came and an optional service charge was added on – we didn’t feel obliged to pay that.

    Don’t think we will go again unless they sort themselves out and give better service to big parties.

    16/06/09

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  • Helen

    6th June 2009 #45 Author

    Don’t bother going to Olivo’s in Ryde unless you have plenty of time to sit and wait!!! Table booked for 1pm and finally, after complaining, food arrived at 2.20. 1 member of our party had to wait a further 15mins for her order. Food, when it eventually arrived was okay but won’t be going back again until they sort out their staff.

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