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Feb 12, 2008 08:40 AM

Valentines Day in Olympia, dinner for two

My original idea was to make a reservation at the Swing (, but after browsing their menu I became apprehensive.

Here's my desire: to enjoy a nice quiet dinner, semi-romantic atmosphere, good food (drinks, appetizers, dessert, etc.).

I know the area fairly well, but I rarely change or try new restaurants.

I would appreciate any suggestions you have to offer.


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  1. My favourite restaurant in Olympia is Cicada. The food there is IMO by far the best in town. The back room is romantic and they have an excellent wine & cocktail list.

    3 Replies
    1. re: porky pine

      I second Cicada! Their bunches are wonderful and the restaurant is comfortable and attractive. Very good food.

      I'd definitely avoid Jean Pierre and Gardner's, which were both suggested to me as "nice" places in Oly.

      1. re: akq

        On friends' recommendations, we tried Cicada the night before Valentine's Day. The place was half empty, but it took a full half hour to get any food. The waitress was yelling at the chef to get the food out, while hungry couples at three different tables were slowly nursing their drinks, waiting for their meals.

        When it arrived, the food was barely warm, the portions were dinky, and the meal cost us $100. The wine bottles started at $35. The plate of raviola consisted of seven(!) raviolas. The calamari dish had both warm and cold spots --- it had clearly left the microwave too early. The gumbo soup was primarily corn starch. The razor-clam salad was the only bright spot in the meal. I went home hungry.

        The decor and ambience were very nice, however. This location has seen three owners in two years. Judging from our meal, this place will be gone soon.

        1. re: Steve in Olympia

          Thats too bad you had such a bad experience there. I eat a Cicada a few times a month and the food is consistently great. The Waterstreet Cafe is another Oly restaurant I frequent but the food is not on the level of Cicada IMO, so I usually go during their happy hour.