This past weekend my parents were in town and since they are vegetarian I thought we would go to Oleana. We arrived right at 7:30pm for our reservations on Sunday evening. When we were seated our waitress was nice enough to explain all of the vegetarian options to us however, that was the end of her niceness.
We tried three Prêt a Manger to start. The Warm Olives with Za'atar were elegant and a nice starter. The Whipped Feta with Sweet & Hot Peppers was creamy and rich and had a nice flavor and spice to it. We also tried the Warm Buttered Hummus with Basturma & Tomato. We waited quite some time for two appetizers after our prêt a manger had been cleared out. The Rabbit Schawarma with Green Garlic Sauce, Tahini Brown Butter & Pickled Green Almonds was a wonderful dish with perfectly complementary flavors throughout. The sauce was rich and added a nice tanginess to the rabbit. We also tried the Fava Bean Pate, Soft Boiled Egg & Wilted Spinach with Fried Almonds & Za'atar. This dish wasn’t a hit.
We waited about 10 minutes after our appetizers for the entrées and the waitress never apologized or explained the delay. My parents both had the Chefs Whim Vegetarian Plate. They both got a Turkish Crepe with Cheese and Spring Vegetables which was served with Turkish Yogurt. This was disappointing as when we were described this option we understood that they would get different dishes and wanted to try each others. However, the dish was lovely. The vegetables were light and seasonal and included fava beans, asparagus, and morels. The crepe itself was delicate and the cheese inside had a nice bite and creaminess to it. I had the Lamb Steak with Turkish Spices & Fava Bean Moussaka. We didn’t detect any fava beans at all in the moussaka. It was a traditional eggplant and beef version.
After waiting about five minutes for the desert menu we decided to share the special of the evening which was a Chocolate Hazelnut Baklava. The baklava was rich and crispy and served with a lovely chocolate sorbet. A very nice ending.
Overall, the evening was very disappointing even though the food was quite good. The service was just too slow. We were not in a rush however, it shouldn’t have taken us over 2 hours for this meal. At this price point you would expect the timing to be better worked out or at least an apology from the waitress. She barely stopped to check in on us once we had placed our order. I was also upset that the fava bean moussaka didn’t have any fava beans! I understand that they may need to make substitutions in the kitchen. However, I really would have liked to have been informed. I am not sure if the chef and owner, Ana Sortun, was in the kitchen but even if she wasn’t the problems were not in the food but in the service which should not require her supervision! I really do love the food and flavors here and have been several times but this experience makes me question whether to bring special guests.
134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139