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Restaurants & Bars

oliva's, new preston (long)

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Restaurants & Bars 2

oliva's, new preston (long)

susabelle | Jul 23, 2004 10:52 PM

Several recommendations from folks on this Board and friends and family to try Oliva's. We had a good, but not great experience. Pretty place. (We asked someone about the Sotheby's sign out front, and she anxiously said that the building was for sale, and they had an offer in to buy it. Hope they're successful. A tough life, the restaurant business.) We were first escorted to a table under a large standing fan. Asked about another table that, from where we were standing, looked tucked away, cozy. They checked and said it was free. We headed there, only to find that it was next to the kitchen, from which was blaring loud music. Although when we arrived moments earlier, they had asked if we wanted to eat inside or out--and it looked as if there were tables available in both venues--at this point, the waitress said there were no tables outside. I assume she was irritated at my fussiness. Understandable, but regretable. Good olives on the table, so-so bread. Opened our BYO. For starters I got their Moroccan eggplant because Zagats called it "ambrosial." I called it too cinnamon-y and kind of mushy to eat, bite after bite. My husband got a plate of two appetizers--calamari stuffed w/ prunes and spices--a weird and not successful combo--and an absolutely terrific roasted corn salad--bright, lively, attractive. I had sea bass wrapped in grape leaves w/ vegies (tomato, pepper, eggplant) on the side--it was very good. My husband had veal stew, w/ a vegie mash (white potato, sweet potato, parsnip, carrot)--I thought the stew was a little dull, the mash pleasant, although maybe more for the couple bites I poached rather than for the whole thing, which might have seemed cloying after a while (my husband, who was afraid of the parsnip, liked it well enough, much to his surprise). We also ordered peas w/ prosciutto and onions--it was a huge portion (we took home part of both appetizers and the peas, they were so large, and we'd ordered a lot of stuff). I couldn't swear to this, but I think the peas were frozen--not the worst thing in the world, but it is July, and it did cost $6-and something. We shared an order of ice cream, which they accomodatingly divided into two dishes--peach and chocolate mud--again, good but not great. My husband had a decaf cap, which he said was just ok. There were lovely-sounding (and looking, as the waitresses served them to others) pizzas on the menu--our meal was good enough to return, and we thought next time, we might try something a bit lower key--pizza and salad w/ byo beer. And although it was a pretty sophisticated-looking adult crowd, the menu had enough options like pizza and pasta that we thought we'd bring the kids.

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