Eating Todd English’s Olives in New York City
With over a dozen restaurants, four cookbooks and a reputation for being one of the best celebrity chefs of our time, I am forever grateful that I finally had the chance to eat at Todd English’s well known restaurant, Olives, in New York City.
Besides the fact that I’m a huge fan of Todd English, all foodies should be, what really won me over was meeting him at the Pebble Beach Food and Wine Festival earlier this year. I got the chance to see him present a cooking demonstration, a duck meal to be exact, around 9am. Hey, when Todd English is cooking duck for you, its’ good at any time. His personality is catchy, humorous and passionate, which made me more excited to actually go to his restaurant and sample the menu items.
I always pass by Olives at the W Hotel at Union Square and love looking inside to see the trendy, upscale décor that is both inviting and very “Manhattan-ish” if you know what I mean. I love “Manhattan-ish,” so I knew from the moment I walked in I would enjoy the atmosphere, which is half of the importance for a happy and comfortable dining experience. Sitting down at my booth I took a look around the dimly lit restaurant and got a good feel for the crowd of 20-somethings chattering over dinner and cocktails with House music filling the restaurant. So far, everything was remarkable and I couldn’t wait to dive into the menu.
One of my favorite things to do at restaurants that have unique appetizers is to order a few of them, and go to town. So I did just that. I started with a fresh Yellowfin Tuna Tartare made in a cucumber salad with rock shrimp sesame dressing and white fish caviar. Next, I devoured a crispy Carpetbagger Oyster layered with beef carpaccio and truffle mashed potatoes making a really unique mix of flavors. With that I enjoyed a warm carmelized onion bread-basket with different olive spreads. Delicious! To top off the evening, my sweet tooth went with a Brick Oven Roasted Banana for dessert that consisted of butterscotch with salted caramel ice cream and graham shortbread crumble.
Will I go to Olives again? Absolutely. Going out to eat is more then just eating. When you enter a restaurant, it becomes an experience from the moment you walk in until the moment you leave. Todd English’s Olives was a very memorable experience from the hospitality, the atmosphere and the cuisine. I couldn’t ask for anything better and I thank Todd English and his wonderful staff for making my dining experience a true pleasure.