With the sun streaming through the window and a Mediterranean feast on the table, you could easily forget you’re on Bridge Street in Worksop.
The Olive Grove is a restaurant that captures the taste and feel of warmer climes, without ramming the theme down your throat.
Simple, pleasant decor and warm, friendly staff give this local eaterie a charming appeal.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner is catered for, and posters up around the venue fill you in on all necessary details and goings on – but not in an overly instrusive bombardment of information.
The lunchtime menu is easy going, with enough choice to cater for most tastes but not so much that it leaves you scratching your head with an agonising decision.
The prices are very reasonable, and what stood out for me was the opportunity to eat Mediterranean style food yet avoid piling carbs onto the plate.
Yes, you could dose up on bread with a filled pitta or ciabatta (from £4.85), or indulge in one of their fine sounding pizzas (from £4.95).
But I wanted something a little less starchy, and thankfully the menu obliged.
After a small dish of olives and spiced feta – two personal favourites – I tried the Spanish style tapas.
Three tapas dishes can be combined for £9.95, making a very filling meal.
I went for marinara meatballs, paprika chicken skewers and a Greek salad.
Each dish proved a great choice.
The meatballs were slightly spiced and came in a lovely tomato sauce.
They came piping hot, as did the paprika chicken skewer – just the one, which was probably a wise decision on the kitchen’s behalf given how much food I ordered.
The paprika marinade was subtle and the chicken was tender.
A mild garlic mayonnaise and a crisp salad accompanied the skewer.
My third tapas dish, the Greek salad, was a sight to behold.
An overly-generous dish filled with fresh salad, chunks of feta and dotted with olives, looked and tasted incredible.
It wouldn’t have looked out of place in any taverna in Crete.
As filling as the tapas dishes were, I wanted to finish the meal with something sweet – and a mango sorbet (£1.45 per scoop) did just the trick.
It was absolutely gorgeous and refreshing after quite an oily – by nature – lunch.
There was plenty of choice when it came to desserts, including some incredible looking cakes, ice cream and a chocolate truffle that sounded too good to be true.
All the food came promptly, but not so quick that I felt rushed or compelled to vacate my seat as soon as possible.
Just two staff were working on a Tuesday lunchtime, but coped perfectly well with the level of business.
The Olive Grove wasn’t bustling, nor was it empty, but with food of such high quality there should be more lunchtime trade passing through the courtyard.
With the sun making a welcome appearance in the sky, one hardy couple opted to sit outside – an experience that will undoubtedly grow in attraction as we head through spring into summer.
As far as local establishments go, this one provides something a little different and a little touch of class.
They’re seemingly doing all they can to grow into local affections too, with Greek nights, Italian nights, tarot nights, wine tasting, paranormal events et cetera.
But the food is enough.
by Graham Smyth