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Ophelia's Restaurant
of Siesta Key Review

Review - 1=Excellent - 2=Very Good - 3=Good 4=Fair 5=Poor

For details on Ophelia's, click here.

Anonymous party of 4 had dinner at Ophelia's on the Bay and rated the Shrimp & Pasta, Filet steak poor because, "Shrimp tasted like bleach and preservatives, the steak was tiny and cold" and writes on 9/11/2009: "We visited Ophelias on a thursday evening and upon arrival was greeted by a nice hostess and was seated outside on the deck in a private table for four. We have two young children 6&8 years old. The waitress was friendly and helpful. THREE THINGS THAT WILL KEEP ME FROM EVER GOING BACK TO THIS ESTABLISHMENT...1) The childs meal was $18, yes I said eighteen, and was a cold piece of steak the size of a my childs hand and with it came a dozen French fries. That was it. 2) The quality of the food was poor, my wife through hers out after five bites,the shrimp taste like bleach, meal cost $34. 3) Our meal was over $100 and we left upset, hungry and felt cheated. We could have went anywhere in Sarasota and had a divine meal for the same money, but took a chance on this place and LOST. They cater to vacationers, that will never come back anyway, they could'nt rely on repeat customers or they would be gone by now. IT IS NOT FINE DINING!"
Service Rating: 2
Ambience Rating: 4
Cleanliness Rating: 3
Kid Friendly Rating: 5
Value Rating: 5
Overall Experience: 5

Lori L. Brosseau party of 12 had dinner at Ophelia's on the Bay and rated the Yellow Fin Tuna, Crab Cakes, Mixed Green Salad, Rib Eye and Salmon excellent because, "Perfectly seasoned, fresh, original and came in good quantities." and writes on 9/21/2008: "We had a great birthday party. The waiter was Michael and he was very helpful with our choices and very attentive. It was the best meal I've had out in a long time. My tuna was perfectly seared and crusted. 'Loved the sauce and the General Tso's shrimp. Great view. Even the valets were very quick with the cars and polite.
'Will be back for more."
Service Rating: 1
Ambience Rating: 2
Wine List Rating: 1
Cleanliness Rating: 1
Kid Friendly Rating: 3
Value Rating: 2
Overall Experience: 1

Anonymous party of 2 had dinner at Ophelia's on the Bay and rated the seafood and steak fair because, "THE FOOD WAS VERY VERY OVERPRICED. THE MENU WAS PRETENTIOUS AND VERY DIFFICULT TO UNDERSTAND. " and writes on 5/25/2008: The heavyset hostess attempted to seat us at a very small table in the corner while the restaurant was half empty. I complained and she pointed to another table I could have without walking us over. The waiter had to retrieve the menus for us. After I paid the check, the waiter correctly brought me back $32 change but told me the change was $26, exactly 20% of the check. I am sure he was hoping I wasn't paying attention and would leave a $31 tip thinking it was the $26 (20%) tip, thereby he would pocket the extra $5. I'm not going back, and I will tell me friends about this miserable experience. "
Service Rating: 4
Ambience Rating: 3
Wine List Rating: 4
Cleanliness Rating: 3
Kid Friendly Rating: 5
Value Rating: 5
Overall Experience: 5
Times At Restaurant: 2

Anonymous party of 3 had dinner at Ophelia's on the Bay and rated the lobster bisque, mozzarella salad, kobe beef fair because, "not in any way memorable, and certainly not worth the price." and writes on 1/4/2008: We are used to paying for a good meal, but we detest being ripped off. Granted, this was New Year's Eve, but nothing about this restaurant was worth the price of about $250 for a party of 3 for an early evening dinner. Please note that there were none of the typical New Year's festivities or frills included -- no champagne toast, no festive atmosphere. This price was for two soups and one salad (each item about $15), three dinners at about $40 each, and one bottle of wine ($38). The mainstay of the restaurant is seafood, so if you're not a seafood lover, you'll find little of interest. One member of our party had lobster bisque, which he rated as fair, and shrimp, which he called "nothing special." My mozzarella salad was strangely breaded and utterly tasteless, and the Kobe beef was fatty. The wine (Puilly Fuisse) was excellent, though, and served at just the right temperature. The restaurant's ambiance was nonexistent, and we certainly had no view. We had to wait for our table despite reservations, and we were jostled several times from our spot in the bar area by waiters needing to search the wine stockroom. Our waitress was friendly and made several suggestions; The restaurant seemed clean, and while the tablecloth was clean, it was very creased. Other diners were mostly senior citizens, with a few families and several couples. We didn't enjoy the meal, the price, or the lack of ambiance, and the found the whole experience a rip-off."
Service Rating: 2
Ambience Rating: 5
Wine List Rating: 1
Cleanliness Rating: 2
Kid Friendly Rating: 4
Value Rating: 5
Overall Experience: 5

Joel Klassey party of 6 had dinner at Ophelia's on the Bay and rated the Beef tournedos, seafood Alfredo, filet, grouper, the best rice side dish this side of heaven! excellent because, "absolutely overwhelming. We had 4 different entrees and each of them fantastic! Our third time there." and writes on April 29, 2007, "Staying on the Key a month each year, our most favorite experience is dining at Ophelia's! Without a doubt it has to be the best restaurant overall in the entire state of Florida. We have recommended it to several friends and they echo that thought. No one will ever have poor service or just "ok" food, it is tremendous food and a great experience dining there. It all starts with a very friendly valet parking person who sets the tone and spirals upwards after that. What a superb place! We want to go back every night to try their different entrees.. Escargot a fantastic appetizer. Good healthy portions served of everything. "
Service Rating: 1
Ambience Rating: 2
Wine List Rating: 2
Cleanliness Rating: 1
Kid Friendly Rating: 1
Overall Experience: 1

Don Arenz party of 2 dined at Ophelia's on 1/19/2005 and rated the food very good because, "Great restaurant with unimaginative deserts" and writes on January 22, 2005: "We ate here for dinner on both 01/09/05 and on 01/14/05. On the ninth the weather was warm enough that we ate out on the dock right at the water's edge. Very romantic and very nice. Great wait staff that really knew the menu and the wine list. The Crab Cake appetizer is made will all lump blue crab and only enough filler to hold it together and done to perfection. I had Grouper that was delightful and my wife had scallops that were excellent and served with w unique wide noodle. She also had a shrimp bisque that lacked a flavor punch that it should have had. Deserts were where this restaurant lost it's excellent rating for us. The key lime pie was way too tart and the other deserts just did not spark with any real creativity.
Beware....they keep the restaurant very dark both inside and out. Our server told us of a lady who thought a quenelle of wasabi was an avocado and plunked it in her mouth! Eeeks! Bring a flashlight or get good information about the presentation from the wait staff."

Cindy L and a party of 4 who dined on Fresh tuna, black grouper, shrimp scampi, oyster appetizer says she rates the food at Ophelia's "fair" because, "it did not live up to the rave reviews I had heard about the place," and writes on 5/12/03, "we visited Ophelia's while on vacation to Siesta Key. The restaurant was suggested by our hotel desk clerk. I also had read about it online. We knew that it was going to be very expensive, but thought that was ok because we were celebrating my birthday. We opted to dine "alfresco" on their patio overlooking the bay. We all had a drink at the bar inside while waiting for our table . the drinks were delicious, and bartender very attentive and friendly. When we were seated at our table the view over the water was spectacular!! Our waiter was very knowledgeable and explained the menu to us. We were just getting into our appetizers when we saw the first of what was many giant Palmetto bugs (big roaches) scattering along the deck....running dangerously close to our feet. My daughter and I made our mates trade seats with us so that they were sitting closer to the water. we felt more secure, until they brought our main dish, then we saw more all over the whole deck, not just close to the water. It was hard to enjoy our meal when we were on lookout for these enormous creatures! Our waiter saw one and laughed as he stomped it and we heard it crunch underneath his shoe..Yum, YUm!
The food was very gourmet in its presentation...but definitely NOT worth the 27.95 price of the dinner which did not include any thing else. My grouper was grilled and the small piece, although tasty and fresh was placed atop a TINY mound of mashed potatoes and a few strings of way overcooked spinach. My daughter and her boyfriend's shrimp scampi was on a SMALL portion of linguini that was rather stiff, and the shrimp did not taste fresh. My husband had the fresh tuna, rare and he absolutely loved his...but he did have around 3 Ketel one vodka and tonics prior to the meal, and was not afraid of all of Ophelia's pets: the large family of palmetto bugs. My advice if you really want to try Ophelia's...EAT INSIDE if it is AFTER DARK!! And DON'T GO THERE'll spend a fortune getting full. Birthday desert? Are you kidding....We got out of there so fast....I will never eat at that place again!!! they need to spray or something!!!"

Brendan writes on 8/20/2001: "I have been to Longboat Key on vacation for 4 of the past 6 years and my cousin and his wife always go to Ophelia's for dinner as it has always been excellent and the ambiance excellent. This year the initial service was disappointing as we had to remind the waiter we were waiting on our wine/bread/etc. The service after that was reasonable but not the best we have had there. The most disappointing aspect from a visitors point of view and something I never encountered in the USA before, (and I have been to other excellent restaurants e.g. Michaels On East), came at the end of the evening when we were paying the bill. We always split down the middle (and) at no time at the beginning or when handing over our credit cards were we told that because we were paying this way the gratuity would be fixed by the restaurant and would be set at a higher rate because of this form of payment. We were told when the credit cards were returned... I do willingly give a good tip but the service was not as good as usual and yet we were having to pay an enforced gratuity and higher than usual because we split the bill. 
I found this quite embarrassing and totally unreasonable and it has never happened to me before. The food has always been excellent/well prepared and presented and the choice of fish is always excellent. 
This form of management lowers the tone of the restaurant especially for visitors, (this was our 4th time there but the first that this was imposed and sadly the first time the service was not excellent). I did not pay the full enforced gratuity because I felt it was unreasonable, but I left feeling guilty and disappointed. I hope this can be passed on the the management and that when I return this form of dictatorship does not exist. Maybe the local people can accept this but sadly I was most disappointed that a class restaurant punishes people for splitting a bill and tries to enforce gratuity payments for what may be an unsatisfactory service."
Editors Note: According to the author, their check was $320

William writes on 2/26/00: "The overall experience each visit is more than pleasing. The personality of each serving staff is dynamite. I rate the food excellent because of the added touch's of care and presentation.
The restaurant is focused on taking each customer on a food journey with each bite a new taste.
The only thing that I didn't like is both my napkin and my wife's napkin were not absorbent and the tablecloth had holes. But for the most part, the restaurant has very high standards."

Ann Uzzo writes, "Haven't been to Ophelia's in about 18 months but had a great celebration dinner with friends. Our waiter, Scottie, was great and even brought us each a glass of champagne when he heard it was Tom's birthday. All of us had great meals except for one friend who was not crazy about his tuna. Biggest problem, as always, very tight seating so we always avoid it in season. After this very good meal we will try to go more often out of season."


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