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Tuesday 5 April 2011

Olives Calgary - a special restaurant for special occasion

Rating: 8.5/10

It is a special day today when I get to spend the whole day with my folks. After having an awesome lunch at the farmers market, capping it off at Kawa for an afternoon coffee break, the grand finale is definitely our dinner at Olives.

The dinner started off with a bit of a rough beginning as I was having trouble finding a parking spot near the restaurant. I was told later that they do have underground parking available at the apartment complex where the restaurant is located. Just a heads up to those planning a relaxing dinner on a "Games night". Due to the proximately of the restaurant to Saddledome, Olives does a lot of quick pre-game meal services. If you want to be there for a quiet dinner on games night, you better arrive after the game has started.

Well, I will not pretend I know lots about drinks since I don't usually drink myself, but my dad seems to be very impressed with their list of alcohol beverages. Dad started off with a bottle of Canadian beer, a great choice with the food we pick for the evening. Olives just happens to be next to the wine shop 100 Wines by David Walker, so not surprisingly, the selection of wines are very impressive.

the FOOD
Our server is super nice, and having trouble deciding, she suggested that we order a few things and she will get us some share plates so we can try everything together... best idea of the night.

I get to eat mussels in wine and tomato sauce, tiger prawn spaghettini, 12oz angus ribeye, and my fav chestnut gnocchi (even though I think they used hazelnut instead of chestnut). Some of the portions are huge, like the mussels and spaghettini, so Dad was very glad that he did not have to eat both dishes by himself. We ended up packing the spaghettini home to save some room for dessert. Mom said the ribeye is even better than Mercato's, and that is a very high praise as she has insisted that Mercato's share steak is the best in town for a few years. Dad was really trying very hard to finish his mussels as he loved the pancetta tomato sauce. His attempts to soak up all the sauce using the focaccia was not helping him leaving enough room to eat the pancetta mashed potato. It was a very sad scene when the server took the leftover mash away.

Dessert was good too: the chocolate trio came with a flourless chocolate cake, a chocolate espresso mousse, and a salted caramel hot chocolate.... all went down the hatch in merely a few delicious minutes.

Lovely dinner, 8.5/10. Only 0.5 less than Charcut as I think Charcut's dessert is a bit better. Oh and I will definitely come back again to try the truffled parsnip and mascarpone ravioli, probably need to wait till after the wedding when I don't have to worry about fitting in the dress. Ravioli, I will see you in May! Also, based on the menu board selection from the deli, this looks like a worthwhile place to come for lunch as well. Too bad my work place is far from here, otherwise will definitely give it a try.

Olives Restaurant, Deli and Lounge
Address 1129 Olympic Way SE, Calgary, AB
Phone (403) 984-5000
Hours varies, check out their website
P.S. Olives is closed on Sundays. I recommend you reserve your table using Opentable and get some points, they even have bonus 1000 point time frame for reservation :)

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