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Olive, An Urban Dive, Dayton

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I'm hearing some buzz about this restaurant--got "rookie of the year" from local asssociation. Has anyone been there? Great website, but does food/service equal the PR?

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  1. We've only been once, for a weekend brunch with our wine tasting group. No liquor license yet, so they allow BYOB. They have some stemware, but we brought our own since each of us brought a bottle of wine.

    Service was fine and the food was good, but not quite as good as Meadowlark or the Winds, although the fried leeks were outstanding. It's an old Wimpy's, but they've redone the interior and it's nicer and larger inside than I expected. They also have outside seating behind the restaurant, but we dined indoors that day. My friend, who works downtown, eats there more often and she says the food is usually quite good but can be inconsistent and sometimes a little slow for those on a schedule. Try it and give us *your* opinion!

    3 Replies
    1. re: Niki in Dayton

      Ah, the curse of potential! Everything about our dinners reflected Niki’s experience: everything was “good,” but with a few tweaks, could have been exceptional. Olive has more a feel of a good lunch place than a dinner destination: servers with sparkling personalities, but shorter on professionalism; food that was distinctive, but with flaws (often associated with servers who didn’t deliver courses quickly enough); and a menu that was limited, but distinctive. Nothing was “wrong,” but just not totally right; but we will try it again—and will save room for a flight of Jeni’s ice cream! Besides, we love the BYOB welcome mat—can’t get the wines we have in our cellar in any restaurant (or wine store) in Dayton, so that is a major plus in our dining experience. I’d urge area CH’s to give it a try and report on your perspectives.

      1. re: Longing for Italy

        Thanks, LfI. I suspect your cellar, like mine, has a larger Italian selection than one can find in most local venues ;-)

        I'm sure we'll try Olive again and hopefully they will work out some of the kinks.

        1. re: Niki in Dayton

          Ah yes, cellars filled with Italian products and memories! (Even though last evening we had a Fr. Red Burg.) Given that I prefer/respect food and wine of place (non-industrial and non-international), Olive's statement of local/fresh/etc., etc. was the initial draw.

          I think (hope) Olive continues to attend to the details; Dayton in general, and downtown in particular, needs more restaurants of place. I know some others in our area are trying, but too few are committed to "fresh" seasonal foods. This is my bias, but experiencing menus that have to be written on blackboards because the ingredients are the freshest/best that the market has that morning does change one's hopes and expectations.

          So, we'll try to help Olive help/serve us.

          ciao