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Oleana question

spacesasha Feb 14, 2008 02:21 AM

Hi I taking some clients to Oleana next week for a relaxed business dinner. I was just curious as to how large the little dips are? If I order one of each will it be too much with an app, main and dessert? We are only 4. Also what is the tasting menu like? Is it worth it? Or better just to order a la carte? Thanks.

  1. Bob MacAdoo Feb 15, 2008 07:45 AM

    I just perused Oleana's winter menu and was stunned by the price of dessert.

    Baked Alaska for $14? Nougat Glacé, Pistachio Katmer, Mandarin Sorbet for $12? (all ice creams seem to be priced at $12.) Sherry dates for $11? A Thumbprint Cookie for $13?

    My goodness, that seems high, especially when their entrees top out in the mid-$20 range.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Bob MacAdoo
      heypielady Feb 15, 2008 07:53 AM

      There was an article in Boston Magazine about how restaurants increase the prices on drinks and desserts (because people think of these as indulgences) to keep meal prices more reasonable. I suspect some of the same here. But many finer restaurants charge $7-9 for your run of the mill molton chocolate cake and creme brulee. Oleana has THE best desserts of any restaurant I've ever been to. While the prices are probably a couple dollars higher than they should be, I don't find it nearly as atrocious as paying $8 for a boring and dissappointing dessert at another restaurant.

      1. re: heypielady
        Bob MacAdoo Feb 15, 2008 07:59 AM

        Perhaps, but those prices are mighty high ...

        1. re: Bob MacAdoo
          ScubaSteve Feb 15, 2008 08:04 AM

          a lot of times we go to Oleana just for dessert. this (Oleana) is one place that really has a sense of pride in their desserts and the final product shows it. it's not like they're sysco-ing it out and marking it way up.

          1. re: Bob MacAdoo
            heypielady Feb 15, 2008 08:40 AM

            No your not wrong. It's not like I'm looking at that dessert list and thinking "Wow, what a deal." I'm just saying the quality of the desserts really are outstanding.

          2. re: heypielady
            joebelt Feb 15, 2008 08:02 AM

            You can also easily split one Baked Alaska for two people. Those things are pretty huge.

            1. re: joebelt
              bobot Feb 15, 2008 09:58 AM

              My wife and I like to go just to sit at the bar and split the Baked Alaska. It's huge- way too much for one person, really. They used to have Inniskillin by the glass at a very reasonable price, but no more sadly.

        2. b
          bobot Feb 14, 2008 09:46 AM

          Don't overlook the deviled eggs on the pret a manger menu- one of my all time favorites at Oleana. I can also chime in with another vote for the Baked Alaska!

          1. s
            spacesasha Feb 14, 2008 08:35 AM

            Thanks for the suggestions maybe then just two dips for the table. The team of people are all specialists on North Africa who have lived there for quite sometime so I don't think sharing is such an issue... but ordering a la cart is better for the mains.

            1. l
              LauraB Feb 14, 2008 05:25 AM

              I think the "pret a manger" dips would be perfectly fine to share a few of with bread even if you are planning to get apps, mains and desserts. Getting all 4 might be slight overkill, but not a terrible idea in my book. However, if you decide to choose, my favorites are the whipped feta and the carrot puree.

              I have never had a tasting menu other than the vegetarian tasting menu. I really like the veggie tasting menu and totally think it is worth the ~$40 it costs (I am not a vegetarian any more and have still ordered it), but it might not be for everyone since it requires a love of vegetables and not minding that there is no meat. For a business dinner, I think it might be better if everyone ordered the tasting menu or a la carte because the course timing can be a bit awkward otherwise.

              As for desserts - the baked alaska is one of my favorite desserts in Boston. I have liked it more than any other dessert I have had at Oleana. However, several others have been quite good (although stay away from the Almond Cremolata - I found it quite disappointing). The baked alaska is big (I usually share), but some of the other desserts are smaller. The baked alaska also has coconut which some people dislike, but if you like coconut, I would recommend the baked alaska.

              6 Replies
              1. re: LauraB
                joebelt Feb 14, 2008 05:34 AM

                Even if you don't like coconut, trust Ana to mix the flavors in such a way that you will like the dessert. That is her ultimate strength. She can mix and combine flavors to create new ones, in a way that no other cooks in Boston can. Don't eat her dish in pieces, combine every part on your plate into one mouthful. You will discover that ingredients you never liked take a whole new meaning in her hands.

                1. re: joebelt
                  BostonZest Feb 14, 2008 07:42 AM

                  As someone who loves to cook and experiment, that is a truly lovely complement. I'm sure she would be thrilled if she heard it. I love to combine the flavors a chef has selected on my folk. And, you are wise in seeing the importance of doing that with someone as skillful as Ana.

                  1. re: BostonZest
                    joebelt Feb 14, 2008 08:12 AM

                    Thanks. I wouldn't say it if I didn't truly mean it.

                  2. re: joebelt
                    limster Feb 14, 2008 08:31 AM

                    Did Ana take over Maureen Kirkpatrick's role as pastry chef at Oleana?

                    1. re: limster
                      joebelt Feb 14, 2008 09:27 AM

                      not that I know of, why?

                      1. re: joebelt
                        limster Feb 14, 2008 12:49 PM

                        "....trust Ana to mix the flavors in such a way that you will like the dessert...."

                        From your post I thought that Ana was making the desserts now.

                2. j
                  joebelt Feb 14, 2008 03:01 AM

                  one app per person is good. Some might be awkward to share with business clients though. Portions are normal size in general, not oversized dishes. Don't forget to try the Baked Alaska, one of the best desserts in town!

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: joebelt
                    heypielady Feb 14, 2008 05:01 AM

                    Definitely save room for dessert. Their bread pudding is my favorite desserts and I am typically not that into bread pudding. They also have a sticky toffee pudding that's just delicious.

                    1. re: heypielady
                      ScubaSteve Feb 14, 2008 08:20 AM

                      i wish that bread pudding was on the current menu.


                      1. re: ScubaSteve
                        heypielady Feb 14, 2008 08:23 AM

                        Yeah.. now that I think about it the last time I had it was five years ago. Sorry. Looks like the sticky toffee pudding is gone too! Guess I'll have to go back and try the new stuff.

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