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Oleana review

pollystyrene | Jun 16, 2007 11:31 PM

I was surprised to like, but not love Oleana. My appetizer, barley rusk bread soaked in cucumber jus topped with ricotta, tomato and basil, had a pleasant, fresh taste, but nothing special. My entree was sublime: Ricotta dumplings with kale, mushrooms and red wine sauce. I didn't care much for the dessert: sticky toffee pudding with two tablespoons of espresso ice cream over a lump of dates. The portion sizes of the entree and appetizer were substantial; the dessert was minuscule, but I didn't care to finish it. My glass of Prosecco was good, but the second one I asked for never arrived. The Turkish decaf coffee was plentiful and very good.

My friend started with the Borek, beef and lamb in what looked like a fried dough. He loved it, and it was a good size. His entree was small, the free-range veal in a pastry casserole with a tomato broth on the side. He liked this less. Since I'm a vegetarian I wasn't able to taste them so can't offer an opinion. He liked his Baked Alaska a lot, and it was big and beautiful, looking like a jester's hat. I had a couple of bites and thought it was okay.

So, my entree and my friend's appetizer were the hits. I was disappointed in the desserts since I'd heard great things about them. I'd recommend sticking with the Turkish coffee and then heading to Tocanini's for ice cream.

The service was cordial and a bit slow. As I said, my second glass of wine was forgotten, we weren't asked if we wanted coffee with our dessert, and our entrees were delivered by someone other than our waitress, and his heavy accent was hard to understand. I'd expected to maybe be rushed since it was a Saturday night, but we weren't at all.

The place had a nice, cozy, low-lit vibe. They sat us a couple of minutes after we arrived. (We did have a reservation.) The tables were close together, but that's often the case. While I scored the cushy banquette side, my friend was stuck with a hard chair that was uncomfortable for a leisurely 3-course meal. Another reviewer mentioned that it was frigid. I had the opposite problem. We were in the room with the bar, two tables from the open kitchen, and I was overheated. I guess they figure the kitchen will heat the whole place, but there's a big temperature imbalance between the two rooms.

I would go back, but just for a quick plate of the delicious dumplings.

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