Olive Tree Mediterranean Grill – A Second Look

by artfuldiner on March 14, 2020

in Artful Diner Review, Breaking News, Wining and Dining

Olive Tree Mediterranean Grill

379 West Uwchlan Avenue (Route 113)

Downingtown, Pennsylvania

(610) 873-7911


Olive Tree - InteriorThe Olive Tree has been hiding in plain sight for nearly two decades. Tucked away on the ground floor of a diminutive pedestrian office building, the restaurant is easily passed by without notice. The interior, however, is contemporary and sparklingly clean, boasting comfy booths and large wall murals. There is even a small patio for al fresco dining in warmer weather.

 First reviewed in August 2012, the only significant change is that the restaurant now offers diners a fast, fresh lunch buffet priced at $12.00 per person in addition to their regular menu. If you decide to opt out of the buffet, be sure to have a go at some of the so-called Greek “street food.”

Olive Tree - Lamb SouvlakiSouvlaki, for example, refers to meats or fish that are grilled on a skewer and then generally wrapped in pita bread along with chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, and various seasonings. The lamb rendition continues to be a first-rate choice. Pieces of the marinated meat are tender to the bite and adorned with a top-notch tzatziki sauce (made with drained plain Greek yogurt, grated cucumber, minced garlic, olive oil, vinegar, and minced fresh mint or dill). A variation on the theme is the equally fabulous Chicken Souvlaki, moist poultry strips embellished with a provocatively addictive blue cheese-artichoke dressing.

When it comes to dinner, as you would surmise at a Greek/Mediterranean establishment, seafood plays a prominent role. Possibilities range from Baked Jumbo Shrimp, Santorini sautéed jumbo shrimp in a garlic red wine tomato sauce topped with melted feta and kasseri cheese served in a ceramic boat dish, to Char Grilled Lemony Salmon, fresh char-grilled salmon seasoned with herbs and spices topped with a white wine lemon sauce. In between, you have such tasty items as Jumbo Shrimp & Scallop Kebob, Ahi-Tuna Steak Mediterranean, and Ionian Seafood Selection, a kind of seafood sampler.

Olive Tree - PastitsioDuring our most recent visit, however, my dining partner and I took a more traditional route and zeroed in on the homemade house specialties. Moussaka, for example, is always a worthy contender here. This is a five-layer casserole that features potatoes, seasoned Angus sirloin in fresh tomato sauce and grilled eggplant topped with a three-cheese béchamel sauce. This was my companion’s choice. I settled on the Pastitsio (pictured), also known as Greek lasagna. This is a casserole that combines tubular pasta and seasoned ground sirloin flavored with tomato sauce. It also incorporates two types of white sauce: a thin sauce that binds the pasta; and a thick béchamel that is spooned over the top. The portion size is more than ample, and it is rich, rich… rich. That béchamel topping is an absolute showstopper; and, unless you happen to possess an ironclad constitution – and an insatiable palate – this dish can only be consumed in small doses. If you order a dinner helping, trust me, you’ll be dining on leftovers for several days to come.

Olive Tree - Greek SaladTo start things off, there are numerous appetizers from which to choose… but the most auspicious way to begin is with the Horgiatiki or Greek village salad, which is really an authentic Greek salad, as it contains no greenery. What you have is a combo of ripe tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, kalamata olives, pepperoncini peppers, and feta cheese served up with splashes of oil and vinegar sprinkled with herbs. And the portion size, as you note from the photograph, is more than generous. So, feel free to share and save yourself a few bucks. There’s more than enough to go ‘round.

Dessert-wise, the homemade Baklava is always a good choice… But the absolute house favorite is the extraordinary Galatoboureko, layers of delicate phyllo filled with creamy custard and topped with a light honey/sugar syrup. Definitely on the sweet side, but the perfect ending when combined with a strong cup of freshly brewed coffee.

Excellent food… generous portions… reasonable prices… and excellent service… The Olive Tree is always worth a visit.

Bon Appétit!


{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: