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Best olive oil to buy in Manhattan?

  • c

I've been buying olive oil from San Pietro restaurant on 54th and Madison, but after being in Italia and having a wonderful oil from a local farmer (makes about 100 bottles a year), I don't consider San Pietro's oil the best anymore. Currently they charge 20USD per 750mL.

The oil from the farmer in Italia had a very soft, yet filling taste, with a hint of salt. Really thick, but felt like water.

Any ideas on the best olive oil which I can buy in Manhattan? And can you give me price/size if you know them.

Thanks.

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  1. Fig and Olive has great olive oil too!

    7 Replies
    1. re: italianagambino

      It looks more like a novelty shop..

      I'm trying to find authentic, great tasting, no "tourist BS" oil (which is why I didn't buy anything when I was in Italia).

      - Update -

      Just looked up Italian oils, and yeah, this isn't what I'm looking for " fresh herbs, bright flavor and round body. " I want PURE oil. But, thanks for the suggestion.

      1. re: cmm3

        i think i know what you mean. the kind that makes you cough when you use it, right? i had the best olive oil when i visited italy several years ago. more recently, my friends lugged bottles back from palermo. the oil was outstanding. it's difficult to find a good one here. i found a red and yellow tin of decent, sicilian olive oil in fairway a few weeks ago. i'll post the name tonight when i am home. fairway has several bottles open to taste with bread during the day but none of them thrilled me. i took a chance with the tin and am somewhat satisfied.

        1. re: nativeNYer

          Ah, the memories. I REALLY do not want to go back to Italia (had horrible misfortunes) and am also skeptical of olive oil from Italia (evidently they bottle twice as much as they actually have olives according to my Suisse friend - he said only buy if you know the farmer).

          A tin? As in it is actually in a tin can? I will travel to Brooklyn if necessary; I just want something excellent, without having to pay 200euro to have it shipped here or wait until my next trip to Europe next month.

          Thanks!

          1. re: cmm3

            yes, it's in a really cute tin. i'll post the name here (when i arrive home around 7pm) along with several specs from the tin to help you decide whether this will work for you. i'm sure others will also chime in with favorites. you can also do a search on this manhattan board for olive oil. i clearly remember several decent posts on this topic.

            1. re: nativeNYer

              ok, cmm3, here it is. the olive oil i purchased at fairway is partanna. it is in a small 17 oz tin. it is first cold pressed and undecanted ("cloudier and greener, and more herbaceous and pizzicante in flavor". it is produced only once a yr in October and its flavor will become mellower. i don't know much about olive oil aside from the fact that i think i tasted some really good stuff from italy. hope you find something you like.

              1. re: nativeNYer

                Thank you for all your time. I think I'm going to try the other oil first, but if it doesn't work, then I'll try yours. But they do produce it in the right time of year.

                If you go back to Italia, and haven't been to Verona, go! It's an AWESOME place (really the only part of Italia I like). Then go back to Suisse. ; )

                1. re: cmm3

                  you're welcome. please report back on whatever you wind up trying. i am a huge olive oil fan.

    2. I know next to nothing about olive oil, but Formaggio in Essex Market definitely carries some high end stuff (if the prices are any indication). Does this look promising to you?

      http://www.formaggiokitchen.com/shop/...

      Here's a link to the location:

      http://www.essexstreetmarket.com/merc...

      1. I usually buy the Barbera oil in the large bottle from Fairway. I find it flavorful and appropriate for eating raw and cooked. Apparently, there is a very yummy Mexican olive oil at Fairway but it may not be what you're looking for.

        Did you try Dipalo's on Grand St? They seem to have huge range of Italian olive oils and offer not only tastes but very good information on the oils they sell.

        Olive oil is so delicious. : )

        JeremyEG

        7 Replies
        1. re: JeremyEG

          I second the Barbera Sicilian, try it if you go to Fairway. They always have a bottle opened for tasting (Brooklyn). So many times I wanted to get away from it and tested the others over and over again but none beat Barbera. Huge favorite.

          1. re: RedVelvet

            Thanks for the suggestions. Can somebody tell me how to get there from the UWS or give me the exact address?

            Thanks!

          2. re: JeremyEG

            Scratch the need for directions; didn't know they were on the UWS (I don't stray far from my building). Anyways, is this the bottle you were referring to? http://www.fairwaymarket.com/shop/pro...

            Looks good!

            1. re: JeremyEG

              I love the Barbera too. It's got a great peppery taste. We use it for finishing and dipping and such. But we use Fairway's regular olive oil for cooking, which I think is quite good (and a great price too).

              For the OP -- Fairway has their own line of a bunch of different olive oils. At the original store (74th & Bway) (don't know about the others) they usually have a bunch of them out with bread for tasting. Here is the product page for the Barbera Sicilian that I like: http://www.fairwaymarket.com/shop/pro... .

              1. re: LNG212

                Link didn't work for me, but I'll go to that location and buy some.

                Any oils with a salt taste rather than pepper. Do you use the olive oil with any type of dish when you finish [sic] a dish?

                1. re: cmm3

                  Sorry 'bout that. It worked for me before but now isn't.

                  We like the peppery olive oil with most things. But that's our taste. If you are looking for a specific flavor profile to go with certain foods, then I'd say to go to the store and taste whatever is out for tasting. Maybe your taste will prefer one of the other different types. I should do that too because I wanted to find a mildly citrus-y one.

                  We just like the basic olive oil for cooking because we think the flavor is good, mild, a bit fruity and it's a great price for everyday use.

                2. re: LNG212

                  I like the Fairway olive oils too. Use them at home for general cooking and they are reasonbly priced.

              2. Frankie's 457 Spuntino's olive oil is available at various locations around town. I think they are now around $25 a liter. Nice and fruity when I tried it. Check this link:

                http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage...

                DiPalo's is quite knowledgable about their products and has olive oils avaiable for tasting if you ask them.

                Trader Joe's also has a decent Sicilian oil at $6 or $7 per 500ml.

                1. have you tried stonehouse olive oil. they're from CA and have a store near south Street Seaport

                  http://www.stonehouseoliveoil.com/

                  1. Despana has a nice selection of Spanish oils and always has a few available for tasting. They describe their "IO" extra virgin like this: "Fruity, fluid, green and bitter, slightly moderately sharp and something sweet, with aromas to green apple, grass just cut and memories to banana, almond and tomato". Guess something was lost in translation.

                    1. I don't know whether or not it would be a better option than Fairway or Despana but Buon Italia in Chelsea Market has a variety of levels of Olive oil.

                      1. So after reading all these posts, I've been spending much of my days thinking about olive oil (dorky, no?). I picked up a bottle of a Spanish oil called Unio. This stuff is DELICIOUS! I got it at Stinky Brooklyn in Carroll Gardens but I'm sure it's available other places as well. I'm having it over some arugula and thinly sliced raw turnips.
                        JeremyEG

                        1 Reply
                        1. Not sure if this is what you're looking for, but I stopped by this spot in the West Village and they had a huge selection of olive oils from different regions:

                          http://www.oliviersandco.com/FO/

                          Also heard great things about despana further downtown, maybe you want to check them out, too. Hope this helps!

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: horangi113

                            I second the Olivier and Co recommendation. The also have vinaigrettes that are so good you can almost drink them. At certain times of the year (Christmas is one of them) they offer free shipping. They are located in a tiny shop on Bleeker between Ave of the Americas and 7th Ave.

                            1. re: unbridled

                              I like the O&Co on Bleecker more than the one at Grand Central. I am actually more impressed by their preserves than their olive oil. they have a fig jam that is really delicious!

                              The good thing is that they will let you taste the olive oil or other samples before purchasing, which is always a plus IMO.

                              I definitely second the Despana and Di Palo suggestions.

                              1. re: kobetobiko

                                when the Fancy Food Show is at Javitz Center next year, you can taste 100s of olive oils there. Its amazing the variations from region to region. An interestng olive oil I had was unfiltered from Israel, was quite amazing. Also, some of the best olive oil I've had was from Sicily.

                          2. I agree Dipalo's on Grand St. in Little Italy has a good selection and tasting of olive oils. Lou behind the counter can also tell you about the characteristics of each of the oils. The last time I was there I got he Santa Chiara - Costa Dei Rosmarini which cost $27.99 for a 750ml bottle. I need to go back and get another bottle sonn.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: TryThis

                              Freshness is key, so look for bottles that show date of harvest. If I can't taste it first I need to at least be able to see the oil, that's why I avoid the cans.

                              DiPalo has a nice selection of premium olive oils and the prices are fairly reasonable, but because of the price I don't cook with this oil. I really like the spicy Tuscan "Frattoria Peraccio", ask them, they'll give you tastes to see which type you prefer.

                              At whole foods they a good olive oil selection, but nothing super unique. I like the Paesano Olive Oil, price is a less and it's a very cloudy unfiltered, super-flavorful, first-press virgin. They also have some good organic olive oils there too.

                            2. My family just took me to Roberto's in the Bronx, they have, by far the best olive oil I've ever had, almost hard to see through. They sell it as well.
                              http://www.usmenuguide.com/Robertos.htm

                              1. Still looking for perfection if anybody has any other suggestions. Per Se's is very nice, but to buy, I need to spend 250 euro which I rather spend on a hotel in Verona, Italia than Tuscano oil. : )

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: cmm3

                                  I had seen this thread and was going to say well, Manni, since you asked for THE BEST.
                                  Not sure nothing else is as good but at least you know this is best.
                                  Of course, I agree with you on spending the few hundred on something else.
                                  I am sure there is something 95% as good, at least, for a fraction of the price but still probably pricey.
                                  Why when someone asks for the BEST, no qualifier of price, do people just mention every random olive oil that might be better than average?
                                  Good luck with your quest, honestly, I think there are just many really great oils if you are willing to spend 25-60 bux/liter. And not the rubbish mentioned for 25. I don't consider that cheap since there is really good oil for 15.

                                  1. re: dietndesire

                                    You consider Manni the best over everything out there? I didn't think it was the best, but above average - on par with San Pietro IMO. I don't want to spend money for an entire case when I'm trying to sample and find the best for my taste buds. Do you mind sharing those great bottles for 25-60 per litre? Thanks.

                                2. Look for a brand called MADRE SICILIA. The best I've bought locally and at a reasonable price...

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: anchovy

                                    If you're looking for the best EVOO in Manhattan try Euphoria olive oil. It's fresh, has the press date, bites the back of your throat. I've only seen it at Eli's on the UES in the mid $$$30 range, but you can get it online for $27. They even deliver. Definitely worth it.

                                    1. re: anchovy

                                      I think this thread is a bit silly since there is no one "best" olive oil in Manhattan--what you like depends on your own taste. But as a pint of interest, these two oils were selected by Eric Ripert as the best in a blind tasting on his show; they will be used in his restaurant. If they ar good enough for LB, I guess they are pretty darn good oils.

                                      SITIA, sold at Dean and DeLuca

                                      FONTERUTOLI available online through this link:

                                      http://www.ilmercatoitaliano.net/Shop...

                                      1. re: erica

                                        You have to know your producer. The olive oil business is a corrupt market, so make sure your extra virgin olive oil is really extra virgin. And you have to know your own palate, not a chef's palate. I've tried Sitia and Euphoria. Fonterutoli is a blend so if you like blended oils then it will work for you. I like my olive oil straight up. Sitia from Crete and Euphoria from the Peloponnese are both 100% Koroneiki olive, the royal olive. Euphoria is slightly smoother and more full-bodied. It gets my vote.

                                        1. re: greek.epicure

                                          Have you tried the Fairway Koroneiki oil?

                                          1. re: erica

                                            Definitely better than your average supermarket oil and reasonably priced if you're looking to save money. I sometimes use Fairway Koroneiki for cooking when I'm feeling broke and Euphoria for salads and dipping bread. Its single estate and in a whole different category.

                                    2. Two olive oils that I like a lot are Trapittu,from Trapani,sold at Eataly,and Corte Olias,from Sardinia,available at Fairway.Both have a strong round 'green' flavor,but are not peppery.

                                      1. greek.epicure, where do you get your Euphoria oo from?

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: spicyandtasty

                                          Eli's carries it but I haven't seen it anywhere else. Its cheaper if you order it online though, and they deliver if you can give them a Manhattan address so no shipping charges. http://euphoriaoliveoil.com Ends up being a good deal for fresh evoo.

                                        2. Also check out Zabars, Dean and Deluca, O & Co (Grand Central Station). I love Spanish olive oil but am also a big fan of Castelas EVOO from Provence.

                                          -----
                                          O & Co.
                                          249 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

                                          1. Buying olive oil is like buying apples. What is good really depends mostly on the person tasting it. I seperate the oils into 5 groups, Rich ripe round, Sweet and fruity with apple/lemon fragrance, Green Grassy Herb like, and Peppery and just plain boring. I am not a fan of peppery oils but I think a lot of people are. I used to have 4 to 5 bottles of different types at all times for my bread dipping, but now I just keep 1 or 2. Recently I tasted almost all the Fairway brand oils. For my taste I think the Fairway label California is the best deal, it is inexpensive but is easily the second best for my taste. It has a lemony like fragrance, apple like fruityness, sweet, no harshness, not bitter at all, a little green, very easy and delicious. The best one is a Franch oil, very balanced, not peppery at all, very elegant. When I tasted it I immediately picked it up ready to buy only to find out it was way more expensive than the others. I bought the California oil and am still happy with it. I was not as impressed with the rest of them. I tasted the Fairway oils cleanly that day. For hours I ate absolutely nothing, only had water, sucked up the oil without eating the bread with it and swallowed plenty of saliva between the different oils. One of my all time favorite was another French oil Fairway used to carry years ago. It was bold, rich, powerful, buttery, think ripe avocado and olive paste.

                                            6 Replies
                                            1. re: mimolette

                                              Pure, honestly-produced olive oil is really the only way to get top evoo. It can never really go big business without compromising quality. That's the beauty of it. Long story short...know your source. And then its a matter of taste preferences...ripe, round, sweet, grassy, etc. FYI that peppery finish is linked to the anitoxidant oleocanthul which is a natural antiinflammatory like ibuprofin without potential liver damage. So I wouldn't write off those peppery olive oils completely!

                                              1. re: greek.epicure

                                                I think we all agree, that there is no oil quite like olive oil ,,Aint it Great!

                                              2. re: mimolette

                                                mimolette -

                                                You didn't like the Gata Hurdes (if it's still available)? I love that stuff...

                                                1. re: polimorfos

                                                  Yes Gata Hurdes from the Manzanilla olive makes a good olive oil and its single varietal. I've had some good Spanish oils from other olives too. I like single varietal Euphoria from the Koroneiki olive better because it has more of a bite which is good for the health. Or maybe its just fresher... I go straight to the source so I know its not sitting on a shelf til it sells. There are a lot of good oils out there and Its all a matter as you said. Just make sure its fresh. Know your source.