July 15, 2010

Olives New York

A favorite friend (and fellow foodie) of mine was free for lunch today (you can see her review here!), when I had a rare afternoon show off (meaning I could eat lunch at a normal hour in a RESTAURANT, not hunched over a keyboard!), so we met at Olives New York, a Todd English establishment, to take advantage of Restaurant Week lunch specials. Restaurant Week is a great time to try places you might not otherwise hit--while they offer a limited menu and often slightly smaller portions, it's still usually a good representation of the food and a chance to try it without spending too much money.


A basket of bread and a colorful dish of olive tapenade appeared as soon as we sat down at our table. The bread had lovely caramelized onions baked into the chunks, and the tapenade had some juicy and delicious olives of all colors.

The tapenades were both delicious, but I found myself going back again and again for the salty, tangy black olive version. I am crazy about this stuff--I need to hunt down a good recipe to make at home. This stuff is WONDERFUL slathered onto a sandwich instead of mayo!

I knew the second I saw it that the beet salad would be mine, oh yes, it would be mine. It was beautiful and absolutely lovely. Tender, roasted beets, a creamy sauce, and crunchy, salty pistachios.

Aren't they gorgeous?? Pretty, pretty, colorful deliciousness.

Sara ordered a glass of Chenin Blanc, while I opted for the "Olives Up," with vodka infused with pineapple and ginger, with a sugar rim that was just sweet enough. This was good, but not amazing. I'm not sure what Sara thought of her wine, but my drink was just okay.

Sara is allergic to peppers of all kind: red, green, chili, jalapeno, you name it. Is it a pepper? Then don't feed it to her. She immediately told the server and he was very diligent, checking on the dish and reporting that there was jalapeno juice in the trout dish we both wanted for our entrée. Great news for me (I love spicy things), bad news for her. The quail dish also had pepper elements to it, so she was left to the third and final option, Peas & Ravioli. She said that generally, pasta at Olive's is really good, so she wasn't too, too disappointed.

It was a lovely-looking dish. She was kind enough to share a bite, and I found it yummy. The cheese filling was more layered than I expected, in a very good way.

My trout dish was a beauty. It came beautifully resting atop a bed of spicy beans, and sprinkled with fresh, fresh, cherries. The trout was perfectly cooked, super moist, and absolutely delicious. Some of the beans weren't cooked as evenly as others, but guess what? I ate them all anyway. The jalapeno juice was a nice addition--it gave it heat without searing the tastebuds.

I dug a little underneath the fish and saw... BACON! Thick, chewy, salty, slightly sweet BACON! Oh my, this was tasty. I ate it slowly, savoring each chewy mouthful of saltastic flavor.

We couldn't decide between the two panna cottas for dessert: blueberry and chocolate--so we got both and shared them. I'm so happy to have friends who don't mind sharing food. :)

These were just lovely. They could have easily been a throwaway dish, but they came just as thoughtfully presented as our other dishes, and each one was great in its own right. The chocolate was rich, creamy, and intense, and the watermelon sorbet was OUT. OF. THIS. WORLD. I'd go back just for a chance to sit down and eat more of this sorbet.

The blueberry version was delicious, too, with Maine blueberries in the sauce. The crunchy things tasted an awful lot like Kix cereal to me (and the chocolate ones, which I liked better, tasted Cocoa-Puffy to me).

From start to finish, this meal was a delight. Our server was great, attentive but not smothering, he actually listened to Sara's allergy info, and our food was spot on. At 27 dollars for all 3 courses, it was beyond worth it. I'll definitely go back to Olives!

1 comment:

Halcyon said...

This sounds like my kind of place!

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