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Diners' Choice: Good for special occasions restaurants in Dorset

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OpenTable
Updated June 05, 2024

Looking for the best special occasion restaurants in Dorset? You’re in the right place. Each month, OpenTable analyzes nearly 2 million global diner reviews from the past four months. We sort the results by location and category to help you discover new favorite restaurants. It's a great partnership: you reserve, eat, and review. We listen...and deliver the results for all to benefit. Enjoy!

A photo of TWELVE EATERY restaurant
4.9
4.9 (901)
£26 to £40
Vegan
Bournemouth
About the restaurant
Sustainability and nutritional is at the core of Twelve. There are no obvious vegan cues and most of our guests don’t even make the connection that the menus is plant-based.

Twelve is defined not by what’s missing but by what it is.

Twelve Eatery is where vegans, vegetarians, pescetarians, flexitarians, omnivores and meat eaters meet to try creative dishes in a good atmosphere with stylish interiors.

We believe great food and good music should be enjoyed by everyone!
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 4 days ago
Favourite vegan restaurant! 🌱 Always such a pleasure! The food at Twelve is exquisite….this is not just creative flair and imagination from an experienced chef - this is food science. Every dish is a well considered masterpiece. Perfectly thought out to balance excellent flavour and nutrition. Dalton and Greg never fail to disappoint, with their enthusiasm and passion! Beautiful aesthetics, chilled vibe and just the best fresh food and drinks that will keep you coming back! An absolute ‘must visit’ if you haven’t already!
A photo of Art Sushi restaurant
4.9
4.9 (434)
£26 to £40
Japanese Speciality
Bournemouth
About the restaurant
Art Sushi was named on The Good Food Guide top 100 restaurants also the OpenTable top 100 restaurants in the UK and included in both the MICHELIN Guide and Good Food Guide. Chef Kamil Skalczynski - a finalist of the World’s major and most prestigious tournaments for Sushi Masters.
WORLD SUSHI CUP 2016 IN JAPAN and also GLOBAL SUSHI CHALLENGE 2015.
Adviser World Sushi Skills Institute and also He won the Certificate of International Sushi Kuro-Obi and International Proficiency, the Only accepted In the World, awarded by the Japanese Government under the Leadership of the Japanese Association „SUSHI WSSI ALL JAPAN ASSOCIATIONS AND NORWEGIAN COUNCIL SUSHI AND SEAFOOD”.
Co-founder of Japanese Restaurants, awarded by ‘AWARDS OF EXELLENCE BY POLAND 100 BEST RESTAURANTS”. Chef in Chef Academy & Cookery School.
He gained his experience working and completing internships in well known restaurants in Poland, the Michelin Star Atelier Amaro and also he graduated the Academy of Jean Bos.


Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 3 days ago
Best sushi I've ever had and a fascinating experience to see it being prepared from our bar seating area. I'll be back.
A photo of Shalims Balti House restaurant
4.7
4.7 (881)
£25 and under
Indian
Weymouth
About the restaurant
Shalims Balti House is a national and regional award winning Indian restaurant. Come in and enjoy the best in Indian dining Weymouth has to offer. The mouthwatering food and warm comfortable surroundings all add to the experience that you'll find hard to beat when it comes to Indian food in the area. For the best food, service and comfort dine at Shalims Balti House.
Top review
Julie
Dined on Jun 3, 2024
Great food with friendly and helpful staff. Good value for money.
A photo of Tom's Lyme Regis restaurant
4.7
4.7 (731)
£26 to £40
British
Lyme Regis
About the restaurant
Tom's Lyme Regis is a multi award winning restaurant situated on the Lyme Regis seafront offering exceptional views over Lyme Bay. We are dedicated to serving stunning food and delivering outstanding service.
Each dish on our menu has been created using fresh local produce that changes with the seasons providing you with an exciting varied menu focused on bold flavours. Since opening in 2020 we have received several accolades including an AA Rosette in culinary excellence, Jurassic Business Award winners for Best Restaurant and Best Business, & finalists in the prestigious Trencherman's Awards for Best Front of House Team and Best Newcomer.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 3 days ago
Lovely vibe, all staff super friendly and attentive. The food was so well prepared and presented. Unhurried friendly service. Have spent a lot more for less. Will return.
A photo of Al Molo Dorchester restaurant
4.7
4.7 (361)
£26 to £40
Contemporary Italian
Dorchester
About the restaurant
Al Molo is an award-winning Italian restaurant launched in 2015 and transformed Weymouth’s Pier Bandstand into a destination for wonderful Italian food. Co-owners Giuseppe Vannucci & Tim Newton achieved national recognition from the Italian Chamber of Commerce with the “Marchio Ospitalità Italiana“ seal of quality award and won Gold for ‘Restaurant Of The Year’ at the South West England Tourism Excellence Awards.

Building on that success, this new restaurant, their second, Al Molo Dorchester, is traditional Italian cuisine and seafood Restaurant focus to bring fresh, locally caught fish to the forefront of the menu.

Situated in one of Dorchester’s oldest buildings, Judge Jeffreys on High West Street, one of the few surviving timber-framed buildings in Dorchester.

Using fresh, locally caught fish and produce, coupled with the finest Italian ingredients, the restaurant will pride itself on quality food in a venue which provides a unique historical setting.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on Jun 8, 2024
Great food, very friendly polite service. This has to be the best restaurant in Dorchester. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this restaurant to anyone, I will certainly be returning.
A photo of TIIEN THAI restaurant
4.5
4.5 (1514)
£26 to £40
Thai
Bournemouth
About the restaurant
*** Tiien Thai has won Best Thai Restaurant in the UK 2023 ***
For more information about the award, please visit our website at: https://www.tiienthairestaurant.co.uk/reviews.
At Tiien Thai Restaurant Bournemouth, we are proud to create exceptional food that is carefully prepared and beautifully presented.
Here you will experience joy and harmony in a serene yet contemporary environment where the most exciting Thai food will be served. Also available for take away.
Our head chef, Pong Pan, sources only the finest authentic Thai ingredients to produce the most sublime flavours. His team at Tiien will guide you on a magical adventure of tastes, aromas and textures.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 7 days ago
Really excellent fresh delicious food beautifully presented and full of flavour and spices. The staff are really welcoming, positive and helpful. I really highly recommend!
A photo of Oliveto restaurant
4.4
4.4 (2369)
£26 to £40
Italian
Weymouth
About the restaurant
Oliveto brings Italian cuisine from the heart of the owners and Italian Chefs. Using local produce with the finest Italian ingredients the restaurant prides itself on quality food with a difference in a venue which provides an amazing setting. Whilst dining on excellent cuisine you can enjoy panoramic views of Weymouth Bay and the Jurassic coastline in a relaxed and grand setting. Respecting the building's origins as part of the piers bandstand the restaurant's decor nods to the past incorporating art deco features together with modern design. You sense a feeling of luxury as you walk through the doors.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 2 days ago
What an amazing place staff fantastic food gorgeous and the setting is beautiful. Would highly recommend to eat here . Great price to
A photo of The Crab at Bournemouth restaurant
4.4
4.4 (1546)
£26 to £40
Seafood
Bournemouth
About the restaurant
The Crab at Bournemouth is one of Dorset's finest, AA rated 2 rosette seafood restaurant.
Situated directly opposite the Bournemouth International Center and just moments from Bournemouth Pier.
Our passionate chefs create an array of delicious dishes sourced from fresh, local produce. Our contemporary surroundings have friendly and personable staff that will make you feel most welcome.
A lovely, relaxing atmosphere with an open balcony when weather permits.

A £5 per person deposit fee is required to make a restaurant booking to confirm and secure the reservation.

Dress Code of Smart Casual (No sportswear, fleeces, sliders, flip flops or beachwear) enforced from 5:30pm. You will be refused entry if not dressed in smart casual attire.

Children aged 8 and under may dine in the restaurant on tables booked with adults between 5:30pm-7:30pm, children's menu is also available. If you are more than 15 minutes late to a booking, there is a possibility your table my no longer be available.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 3 days ago
Thank you for a lovely experience. From the moment we arrived, the staff were happy when they greeted us and all the way through their service. Will definitely be going back and have already recommended to friends
A photo of Côte Brasserie - Bournemouth restaurant
4.4
4.4 (58)
£25 and under
French
Bournemouth
About the restaurant
Cote is inspired by the brasseries of Paris, serving authentic French dishes all day in our classically designed restaurants. We are committed to producing authentic French classics, freshly cooked to order, from the highest quality sourced ingredients.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on Jun 3, 2024
My wife and I took my wife’s 95-year-old Mum out to lunch. As always at Cote the staff were attentive and kind and the food was delicious. We’ve noticed recently that the superb value of the past at Cote has started to come under a bit of pressure and that’s a shame, but that seems to be the way of the world! We paid just over £30 a head for two courses, with soft drinks and coffee all round. Not bad, but we may forget the coffees next time! Thank you Cote…another lovely meal.
A photo of The Oyster & Fish House restaurant
4.4
4.4 (1832)
£26 to £40
Fish
Lyme Regis
About the restaurant
Perched on the hillside offering panoramic views of The Cobb and Jurassic Coast, The Oyster & Fish House is arguably the most picturesque spot in Dorset to enjoy locally sourced fish and seafood. A large terrace wraps around the informal, light and airy dining room offering the perfect al fresco experience with unrivalled views of the coastline. Please note outdoor bookings cannot be made in advance. Dogs are welcome on the terrace.

The menus at the Fish House are built around the long-established, personal relationships that Mark Hix has with his suppliers and use only responsibly produced, carefully sourced and simply served British seasonal ingredients. The menu can change twice a day depending on what the fishermen bring to us.

The wine list reads as a charming tour of the local vineyards including Lyme Bay and boutique vineyard, Castlewood. Enjoy a local beer made locally by Palmers or Gilt and Flint, alongside a seasonal cocktail list showcasing local spirits.

Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 7 days ago
Excellent setting for a lovely meal good food and friendly staff
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