Oleana and a wine question
I'll be externing in Boston next week and coincidentally celebrating my 21st birthday at Oleana. I've got a tolerance for about half a glass but I thought I'd maybe go for something special from their wine by the glass- any recommendations? And anything amazing and spectacular (and vegetarian) that I absolutely must try? I'm definitely going for the falafel but the rest looks so tempting as well....
For food, any of the small vegetarian plates are absolutely terrific; Oleana is a superb choice for a vegetarian.
As far as the wine by the glass, they'd likely let you taste a few to find one you like. I've had a syrah blend from Domaine Faillenc Sainte Marie that I've really enjoyed, but I'm not sure it would go as well with veggie stuff as it does with their meat dishes. Honestly, your best bet would be to ask for the staff's help pairing after you've selected your food.
Thank you for the note- I definitely chose it after hearing it so lovingly advocated by this whole board! As for the wine, I did figure I'd ask for a suggestion with food, but since I plan on tasting as many mezze as possible I wasn't sure there was any hope that something would match them all. Good to know that everything's terrific, this should be fun.
Theresa Paopao is the wine director there, and she's terrifically knowledgeable. You can ask her specifically for a recommendation -- she has never steered us wrong when we have done so. Also, it's worth knowing that if you see some bottles you want to try (as opposed to by-the-glass), the law in Boston/Cambridge now allows for you to take home any wine leftover from a full bottle. They'll simply cork the bottle, put it in a specially sealed bag with an official receipt, and you can take home whatever you don't finish at the restaurant.
I agree that most everything is very good, and that the "pret a manger" (small plates) and apps tend to be more interesting/fun than the entrees. I had hoped to go this weekend, but waited too long to make a reservation. Some of my vegetarian favorites include the carrot puree, whipped feta, grilled haloumi, fideos, and ricotta/bread dumplings. The vegetarian tasting menu (5 mezze & dessert) for $42 is a good deal.
I'll third (or whatever) the veg tasting menu - you'll get to enjoy the widest options of veg offerings they have - even some things that are usually sides of the non-veg entrees.
I think the tasting menu option also includes your dessert, but if you have room for extra dessert. the Baked Alaska is something you won't find a lot of other places and it's quite yummy. Happy Birthday!
Please. Go here. I don't know if I should add the everything-we-ate-report (literally half the menu, with gusto) or just add to the accolades, but I will say that it was beyond what I could have expected. (Interestingly, the wine wasn't anything special- the Sancrerre half bottle, I think, not that it was bad but it wasn't terribly interesting. The sangria, just for fun, packs a wallop.)
favorites: carrot puree, smashed in with the pile of spices, spinach falafel with perfect pickled beets and tender mache leaves, the dill in the romaine/pecan labneh salad, the foccaccia-sort of bread, the smoked eggplant with pine nut side for the tamarind beef (okay, I cheated and had a bite- you know how some vegetarians go crazy over bacon? Forget bacon. This melted. It lovingly oozed flavor. If you eat red meat, or maybe even if you don't, this is worth a shot.) Oh....and what has to be the best vegetarian on the fly entree ever- they created some sort of cassolet with brussel sprouts and squash and chickpeas and exotic mushrooms and something whole grainy (pearl barley? israeli couscous?) and other goodies with olive oil and spices. Since it started out as just whether they could pull together a plate with two of the side vegetables, it turned out as a delightful surprise!
Desserts: brown butter bread pudding (top notch), espresso granita with almond cremolata and krispy kreme's idea of manna on the side: warm, oozing espresso bombolini- does birthday 'cake' get any better? And a scoop of utterly too decadent coconut ice cream for my mother, which almost tasted like burnt sugar ice cream with essence of toasted coconut wrapped up in sweet. It was all fabulous.
At any rate, thank you so much to everyone on this board for reviewing it in past threads so often that it snagged my eye, because I had a really fabulous birthday, and this was the perfect finale.