Took the family here on a Wednesday night recently (January 26). I had driven by a couple of times and was interested because there were always people inside. Oli's is located next to Fresh Market in Wellington. They are in a great location but their location has been home to a couple of failed restaurants. Their website says: "Our Mission at Oli’s Fashion Cuisine is to bring Palm Beach quality food and service to the Western Communities with the combined experience of Maitre de Juan Carlos and Chef Dustin Parfitt."
The night we went in we were pleased to see a busy restaurant. We got there about 6:45. I always like seeing independent restaurants busy, they are sorely needed in an area like Wellington where all we have are primarily chains. Nothing against a chain restaurant but I like keeping my money local.
Although the place was busy we were seated immediately. It was loud but the decor is nice and it was interesting to do some people watching. The waiter came over and asked for our drink order. We wanted some water and looked at the wine list and picked out a nice Cab. After a few minutes and no water, I got worried. I could tell the place was understaffed. Eventually we got our water. Minutes later the wine came. In a glass that had exited the dishwasher minutes before. I don't know about you but I like my red wine in a slightly chilled glass, not one about 130 degrees. Just me though.
We had been there a good 20 minutes before our order was taken. The kids got some kid food, I ordered Braised Short Ribs and my wife got the Chicken Parm. Finally we got some bread which was very good, served with 2 spreads. We ate the bread, and did some more people watching. The name of the game at Oli's is waiting. Because it was obviously understaffed, our apologetic waiter simply couldn't handle the volume of customers he had. Around 7:55 we were pretty agitated and got his attention. He came back to tell us our food was being plated. So, over an hour to get some simple food.
The food was delivered and the presentation was fine. The kids were starved and devoured their food. My wife was happy with her chicken. Although I was a bit disappointed with the wine debacle and the shoddy service and delays, I enthusiastically put my fork into my short ribs. Only to find out they were not short ribs, instead they were a tough cut of meat braised like short ribs. It tasted ok but when I order short ribs, that is what I want.
Off topic a second, but Oli's is not the only local restaurant that is doing this. I ate a DaDa a couple of months ago and they pulled the same trick. NOTE TO CHEF'S-WE KNOW WHAT SHORT RIBS ARE. YES THEY ARE EXPENSIVE. THEY ARE NEVER A VALUE PRICED ITEM ON A MENU. IF WE ARE ORDERING SHORT RIBS WE DO NOT WANT AN INFERIOR CUT OF MEAT.
Anyway, on to the review. The waiter was apologetic. At this point it was well after 8:00. He offered some dessert on the house. Our children were sleepy. so we asked him fomr something to go. He talked up the cookies and we asked him for an order of those to go, along with the bill. We paid, got the to go box and climbed in the car. A sleepy little girl asked me for one of the cookies. I opened up the box to get her one, only to find it was somebody's leftovers. Braised wanna-be short ribs to be exact.
The night we went, Oli's was a calamity. Yes, it was busy. My wife and children enjoyed their food. I was duped. The service did not live up to their mission statement. I may go back, but not for a long time while they iron out the kinks.
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