With such a hectic summer its hard to make it to too many places during Restaurant Week but we at least made it to one with our friend Asha. Oliver's is the newest member of the FAB Dining Group family, spearheaded by Yvonne Sarber, in good company with Manifesto, DeNovo and Fin (formerly Chez du Bon). This was on my list to try since I heard about it this winter. If nothing else I couldn't wait to see what the FAB team did to decorate this unassuming Lynn Alley spot.
In typical fashion they created an environment that's eclectic, unique and transforms your dining experience. In as few words as possible, it's a classed up downtown sports bar. Exposed brick, TV's everywhere with a mix of comfortable raised booths and high top tables, it's an urban chic place focused on good booze and good food with sizable portions.
|the bar area|
So first we started with cocktails, I got a dirty martini. Since Oliver's prides themselves on their bourbon selection it seemed to make sense for Chris and Asha to get bourbons on the rocks. I haven't quite ventured to the bourbon side of life, hence the martini.
None of us actually ordered from the Restaurant Week menu as the burgers caught our eyes instead. I got the Sliders, a trio of short rib mini burgers topped with manchego cheese, lettuce and tomato. To make the meal more substantial (not realizing the portion size) I ordered a side of the Mac and Cheese, six cheese blend, cavatappi noodles and sour cream bechamel. The burgers were cooked perfectly, fabulously juicy and very flavorful. Was a little turned off that they assumed I wouldn't want ketchup and it wasn't served with condiments (I practice safe eating, always use condiments!) but with quality beef and cheese I suppose it's not entirely necessary. The Mac and Cheese was pretty disappointing, not very cheesey and committed one of the cardinal sins of mac and cheese making: being dry. I want those noodles practically swimming in cheesey goodness please!
|Sliders and Mac and Cheese|
Asha got The Downtown Juicy Lucy, 1/2 pound short rib burger stuffed with cheddar and gruyere topped with caramelized onions and chipotle aioli with a side of garlic fries. She said this was good but since the cheese was in the middle of the burger there was less cheese flavor throughout. The garlic fries were really yummy (I snagged one to taste!).
|Downtown Juicy Lucy|
Chris got the BBQ Burger, 1/2 pound short rib burger topped with pulled pork, pickled onions, sweet slaw and the house blueberry BBQ sauce with a side of sweet potato fries. He said it was good but nothing to write home about.
Even though we were entirely stuffed from our meals we decided to splurge for dessert. The guy who cleared our plates told us we couldn't order from the Restaurant Week desserts but then our waiter we had the whole time said we could, so a little discombobulated/misinformed but whatevs. We each ordered different desserts and then passed plates around to try them all.
I ordered the chocolate cake with bourbon glaze. This was pretty fabulous, the cake was very moist and fluffy and the glaze was just right.
|Chocolate Cake with bourbon glaze|
Chris got the Peaches and Cream. This was okay, the shortcake was a little lack luster but the whipped cream was tasty with the peaches.
|Peaches and Cream|
Asha got the Banana Bread Pudding which was good, the banana was a nice change up from regular bread pudding.
|Banana Bread Pudding|
So after everyone tried all three we came up with the following verdict: Chocolate Cake was the best, Banana Bread Pudding next, Peaches and Cream last on a count of not very good shortcake.
Overall it's a good downtown spot with elevated flavors and atmosphere, although you'll pass it on High Street if you're not paying attention since it's tucked into the alley on Lynn. Prices were reasonable for the generous portions. The menu has some options other than burgers and bar food which gives it more depth. Definitely a good spot to take in a game and some decent chow if you are downtown.
As previously stated, I'll be working to improve my blogging frequency in the coming weeks, lots of restaurants, recipes and shoes to share!