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Nov 14, 2007 07:54 AM

Olives recommendations

Even though I have read mixed reviews of Olives, my wife and I will be going there for dinner soon, since we were given a gift certificate. So, rather than order those dishes which you chowhounds do not like, how about some suggestions of the best dishes on the menu? This way, I won't waste calories. Thanks, as always, for your help.

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  1. Regift the certificate to some one you don't see too often. I recommend you go somewhere else. Not one of Boston's best!

    1 Reply
    1. re: CocoDan

      I haven't been to the Boston Olive's, but if people want to enjoy a free meal, can't we help them constructively?

    2. The one and only time I went to Olives, it wasn't too bad at all. In fact The Man himself was there at the bar looking very stern. Anyway, IIRC, I had Wellfleet oysters to start...nice and fresh, but came with a mignonette sauce, which I don't like on general principle so ignored it. Entree was the duck l'Orange....nothing to rave about but was as good as I've had elsewhere. Drinks were served in a timely fashion; we may have had a bread basket with olive oil, but since I don't have bread, nor dessert, these two items are no longer in my memory bank. I remember the server being helpful and pleasant. I know the tip we left was high end, because we all had a fine time with no complaints. Oh, and the place was jam packed. We had a reservation, and were seated on time.

      I hope this helps you somewhat. But you know, everything is subject to the attitude one takes with one when trying a new place. Either you're predisposed to hate the place, or you go with an open mind. I do hope you have a good time there!

      1. Olives: it used to be better. But you knew that. And someone else is paying, yippee!

        On the current menu (holy crap, have prices crept up!), there are some dishes that have been around in various forms for a while and are likely still good: the tuna tartare, the grilled squid and octopus. From the pasta menu, butternut squash tortelli with sage and brown butter, another quasi-classic. From the entrees, the leg of lamb sandwich (now $29, zoiks!). The razor clams casino special.

        I haven't been dragged back here in a while, since early this year, which might be prior to current chef Joe Brenner's return: they have a bit of an ongoing parade of exec chefs there, since The Todd never actually, you know, *cooks* there anymore. I would love to hear your follow-up report.

        1 Reply
        1. re: MC Slim JB

          I have always loved Olives. I was reading an interview the other day with Lydia Shire and she admitted that Todd English makes incredible Food. I know that people feel that Todd got too big for himself but I think people are hard on successful people. There was a year or two that Olives was not on track but I am sure that you will have a lovely dinner. Hopefully Albert will be your waiter and he is fantastic. The roasted Duck has always been my favorite and I love the Skate wing too. I always overeat when I eat there. I would never ever regift a gift certificate to Olives. The last time I was there it was fabulous. The Butternut Squash Ravioli with Brown Butter and Sage is delicious. The chestnut ravioli is better than sex and i love that too!

        2. I'm not sure whether or not they have updated hte menu but I would recommend the braised beef short rib, the duck l'orange, and the chicken is amazingly tender if it is what you desire. The beef carpaccio and tuna tar tar are also fabulous. Desert, you can't go wrong. All sorbets are made in house (as is everything else) if your in the mood for something cold. I can attest to Chef Brenner's work as I have worked with him and anything leaving his kitchen will be fabulous.

          1. If you don't want to go to olives you can use the TE gift card ( as long as its a gift card) at any of the TE restaurants i.e. Kingfish Hall, Figs, and now Bonfire. The food at olives is getting back on track with joe brenner and sous chef micheal. The TE restaurants are all still very good even though todd is a complete douche bag.