By Abby Bagby, T/E Life Editor It’s a sunny Monday afternoon in Paoli. On the northern side of Lancaster Avenue, in the quiet Olive Tree Bistro, the owners prepare to open for dinner service. Customers begin to roll in — some regulars, and some brand new to the restaurant’s authentic Greek cuisine. Olive Tree Bistro,...
By Abby Bagby, T/E Life Editor
It’s a sunny Monday afternoon in Paoli. On the northern side of Lancaster Avenue, in the quiet Olive Tree Bistro, the owners prepare to open for dinner service. Customers begin to roll in — some regulars, and some brand new to the restaurant’s authentic Greek cuisine.
Olive Tree Bistro, looking to open its third location in West Chester, is a family-owned business serving traditional Mediterranean dishes. The recipes originate from their native island of Crete, Greece, and compose the foundations of the Mediterranean diet.
A secret family recipe is followed to create the char-grilled calamari. Differing significantly from the American version, the dish may come as unexpected with its lack of fried batter. Though, packed with flavor, it is sure to please any seafood lover looking for a taste of the Mediterranean.
Another traditional Greek feature on the menu is the tiropita. This baked dish involves a medley of various cheeses with a blend of Greek herbs, wrapped in crispy layers of phyllo dough. Its simple composition lends itself well to the less adventurous of diners who are new to traditional Greek cuisine, though I truly consider it a must-order for anyone visiting the restaurant. With each flavor and ingredient well-balanced, it’s a star of the menu.
The pastichio, available at the dinner service, is one of the restaurant’s specialties. Also known as a “Greek lasagna”, the dish involves layers of pasta noodles, ground beef, and a white bechamel sauce. It’s served with grilled pita bread, though a side of Greek salad or soup can be added for an additional $3.50. When ordering this dish, note that it differs from the classic idea of lasagna with a tomato-based sauce. For diners looking to try a new pasta dish, the pastichio offers a variety of new elements and flavors to the traditional American pasta palate.
The restaurant’s Greek salad, another specialty, stars on the menu. Fresh cucumbers and tomatoes were not overpowered by the house-made vinaigrette. Kalamata olives and creamy feta cheese crumbles were well-incorporated throughout the salad, and a dolma (stuffed grape leaf) was added on top along with grilled pita bread. If you enjoy Greek salads, you’ll be very pleased with this dish.
Olive Tree offers lunch items, including burgers, sandwiches, and paninis, from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and reopens for dinner service from 4-8 p.m. The restaurant offers takeout and delivery, in addition to its sit-in service. Depending on your order, pricing can ring in high. The pastichio alone costs $21 — a price tag that feels just too high for this entree. However, the calamari and tiropitas come to $15 and $9, respectively. These two shareable plates are reasonably priced for both portion size and quality. The Greek salad costs $12, and its quality certainly makes it worth an order. Overall, Olive Tree is a nice local spot and one I’d recommend to those looking to explore a variety of authentic Greek dishes.
Abby Bagby can be reached at [email protected].
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