The Dovetail in Oakham only opened yesterday, and having browsed the menu (cocktails as well as the food!), we decided to go for lunch today as I had a day off work.
We saw through social media that bookings were being encouraged, so we completed the form on the website that was recommended, however we hadn’t had confirmation back this morning so I gave them a call to ensure we were booked.
When we arrived we were immediately greeted warmly and shown to our table towards the back of the restaurant – we probably could have just walked in for a table, but I was pleased we’d booked as our table was laid ready for us, whereas as unbooked tables were not set at all.
Some staff were clearly nervous and still learning the ropes – this didn’t worry us as we know how hard it can be to start a new role in a new place, especially with so many restrictions still in place.
Unfortunately we couldn’t choose from the full menu for lunch, only pizzas, as they have yet to fully recruit chefs and kitchen staff – a real shame as I did have my eye on the mussels! But the pizzas were delicious – I chose the seafood pizza, which was crammed with salmon and prawns, and Tony went for the Prosciutto & Mushroom, which was also crammed with toppings. Both were cooked to perfection, and the garlic bread was delicious, too.
Service was a bit slow, particularly on the drinks – we noticed other tables had been held up waiting on wine because our cocktails were being prepared. I’d like to see this improve as it did cause some frowns from other guests and a significant wait – I’d also probably have gone for a third cocktail had I received my second sooner.
The cocktail menu has plenty of choice – all classics, so you’re sure to find a favourite. There is also an excellent choice of premium spirits, bottled beers, soft drinks and mixers. (I talk more about the cocktails at Cocktails with Lisa.)
Price-wise it’s on a par with most Rutland venues of this type and quality – the ingredients were obviously fresh and considered, and the menus are well curated. There is a children’s menu, too, so we know we could take Elliot – with Linguine Bolognese, Fish Goujons, Chicken Goujons and Pizza as choices it will be difficult for him to decide what to have!
The decor is lovely – we used to eat here a lot when it was Wildwood, but we like the Dovetail style much more – and it was an enjoyable lunch and venue.
If the team settle well and gain confidence we think this’ll be a great place for lunch and dinner, as well as drinks. It’s just a few details in the service that are needed as they are certainly friendly and passionate about making this venue a great success.
We look forward to returning when the full menu is available, or in an evening.
December 2022 – sadly The Dovetail has closed since we visited and doesn’t look to be re-opening. We hope the venue can be taken on by a new team and bring an extra choice to Oakham for lunch and dinner.
51 High Street, Oakham, Rutland LE15 6AJ
Visit the website for menus and bookings: thedovetailoakham.com