Tony and I dined at Olive’s this past Thursday (8/26/10) and we loved the food. This place opened in July taking over the Indian restaurant location. We were served huge green Italian olives and olive flavored bread sticks to start (the kind you get in Italy, the thick ones!).
For our appetizer we had the fried calamari (tasty and not rubbery). Another choice I wanted to try (next time) was the meatballs stuffed with goat cheese - it sounded so good and someone at a nearby table ordered them and they looked good!
Tony had the veal and eggplant parmesan (the best he’s had in quite some time and he's very picky when it comes to Italian food - if the red sauce is good he’s happy). I had the Pappardelle Bolognese (also very good and I liked the fact that some of the meat was in chunks rather than ground, although it didn't have any wild boar meat in the dish).
Nice wine selection. No dessert this time, but we definitely want to go back. The prices were very reasonable and portions filling. We met the manager, Leanne, who was happy to hear we enjoyed our meal. We had arrived without reservations but there were 5-6 empty tables. By the time we left, the place was filled. I didn’t understand the art on the walls, as it reminded me of Gauguin’s Tahitian women with flowers in their hair, although not in the rough sense. Certainly not an Italian theme but a lively environment. Overall, a very good Italian restaurant.
2 September: Tony and I dined again at Olives. This time we started with the lamb meatballs stuffed with feta cheese and topped with a delicious marinara sauce.
Tony had the Pappardelle Bolognese (after seeing what I had the previous week), and I had their shrimp special:
Shrimp with proscuitto, tomatoes, and arugula in a wine and butter sauce with penne pasta. It was fabulous! The sauce wasn't heavy or rich in taste, but quite flavorful.
Foccacia bread, right out of the oven, is also served.
Service was a little on the slow side, but it was due to the restaurant being filled to capacity. We didn't mind the wait at all. We ordered a bottle of wine to enjoy with our meal.
We ate at Olives again (4 Sept) during the busy "First Saturday" in Frederick. I had called earlier in the day to make reservations and the only times that were available was after 9:30pm, so I decided we would dine elsewhere. However, we were able to walk in and grab two seats at the bar.
Tony had the panini "Olive's Special", which was was filled with roasted red and green peppers, onions, provolone, capacola ham, mortadella and salami. Filling and delicious. It was served with a small side salad.
I had the Zuppa di Pesce, which consisted of shrimp, scallops, calamari, and white fish. The scallops were very tender and the stew, a red-based sauce was light in texture and taste. It was really wonderful. Along with the stew, Italian garlic bread was served. You could certainly taste the garlic flavors.
I ordered a bottle of Pinot Grigio (had some and took the bottle home), and Tony had a couple of martini's. Both bartenders Cheryl and Cliff were friendly and kept our glasses filled. We even met the owner, Jay Sachdev, who was busy running around taking care of things and talking to customers.
For dessert, we shared a very tasty Tiramisu:
Having dined here 3 times now in just over a week, I have to say this is one of our favorite places to dine in Frederick.
10 September: Okay, so we really like this place. We ate at Olives again. Friday was the start of First Saturday, so the area was already busy with people walking around and enjoying the evening. We were able to snag a table next to the front window.
Fried calamari to start (see photo above). Again, they were tender and lightly battered. Seemed like the portion was slightly bigger than the first visit.
I had the Cappesante con le nocciole - Scallops in a lemon butter sauce with hazlenuts. There were four large scallops, cooked until just still opaque in the center, and served with risotto and vegetables.