Olives: The Best Value of RW
Like many of you on this board, I haven't visited Olives lately due to concerns of declining quality and the restaurant being "tired." But since the price was right (RW), I gave Olives another shot tonight and it was outstanding!
Generous portions and very flavorful. I had the white bean & shrimp soup, duck confit (a home run), and pumpkin bread pudding (addition to the below menu). The scallops, by the way, looked awesome.
Olives receives my high recommendation and I'll be back.
Here's the RW menu:
Roquefort Caesar Salad: Roasted Radicchio, hearts of romaine & garlic crutons
White Bean & Shrimp Soup: Fennel poached shrimp, roasted garlic crema & rosemary
Asparagus Tart: Fontina cheese, applewood smoked bacon & morel shallot brown butter vinaigerette
Crispy Veal Sweetbreads: Bearnaise & white asparagus hazelnut orange salad
Hand Crafted Ricotta Raviloi: Roasted tomato, basil, Parnesan & breadcrumbs
Pan Seared Jumbo Sea Scallops: White clam polenta, chorizo stir-fry & Manila clams
Brick Oven Roasted Vegetables: Grilled Zaatar bread, summer squash, zucchini, oyster mushrooms & basil aioli
Wood Grilled Beef Tenderloin: Brochette of tenderloin, whipped potato, roasted portobello & porcini jus
Crispy Confit Duck: Served on a warm fig tart, gorgonzola & shaved feenel salad
Wood Grilled Pork Chop: Sugar snap pea risotto, pea tendrils, ginger & Meyer lemon confit
Griddled Vanilla Pound Cake: Ginger ice cream & native blueberry compote
White & Dark Chocolate Bread Pudding: Raspberry sauce & chocolate crinkled cookies
Trio of Sorbets
The only Todd English establishment that i find to be absolutely terrible is Bonfire. That place needs a major overhaul. Otherwise I really enjoy his other restaurants. Although I haven't been to Olives in a couple of years, i would be willing to give it another shot because I did enjoy the meals that I had there.
Completely agree - enjoyed Olives recently (a pleasant surprise after middling to bad experiences a couple times after the real heyday ended years ago), find Kingfish Hall consistently good to excellent (but pricey), never to go Bonfire - ever again, and Figs is fine spot for casual dining if near where they are.
Finally FWIW, IF you are there anyway, I think Ozone in Terminal B at Logan is a respectable, comfortable place to get solid bar food (or a huge, delicious, fresh breakfast sandwich - really!) with a slight twist and the service has always been better than else where at the airport.
I usually don't go out for restaurant week, but if I'm tempted I usually sneak into the bar and go especially early (when there won't be an overflow of people waiting for the second, or even third seatings. Good luck getting a spot and Olives tends to really do a solid RW menu.
It's always easy to pick on English restaurants, but I have to say the decline in quality at Olives (if there even was one) is at least a year passed. Anyone buying into that hype has not sat down at the restaurant recently; it remains one of my favorite's and Boston's best. You just have to know you're in for the Todd English deal... which is very different from, say, the Barbara Lynch deal. But still delicious.
Your comments are right on. While it has been very easy to pick on Olives, I never gave up on it. It has always been a very convenient spot to meet friends without having to cross over the river. While over the past 18 years or so there have been highs and lows, I have never cast Olives away. It has always been at the very least, "good." We generally eat there several times per year and have as many drink/apps at the bar occasions. I have not been disappointed once. Same for Figs. I am going there tonight, coincidentally. Looking forward to it, as I have not been there in ages. Viva Todd English and his restaurants. I am a happy customer.