March 1, 2007

Brunchin’ Around Town: Olivia a Worthy Stop

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We arrived at Olivia Restaurant, located at 381 Pine Tree Road, near East Hill Plaza, at approximately 11:30 Sunday morning, worried that we would find ourselves stuck in the busy mid-morning brunch waiting game. However, we couldn’t have been more wrong. Instead of the hustle and bustle we were expecting, we drove into an empty parking lot, entered an empty restaurant, and became the only patrons of Olivia for about half an hour. This lack of business made us a little weary about spending our precious Sunday morning at Olivia, but we decided, after the waitress assured us that business normally picks up later in the afternoon, to give it a shot. What followed was a pleasant morning filled with good food and, of course, great company.

Before heading to Olivia, I checked their website to see what meal offered the most enticing options. The brunch menu posted on the website was quite large and had a number of fantastic-sounding breakfast and lunch choices, which made me quite excited to sample them at the restaurant. However, the menu we were given at the actual restaurant was different. Apparently, the restaurant decided to combine the original brunch menu with the existing lunch menu, which in effect decreased the amount of breakfast choices on the menu. Slightly disappointed, but still determined to make the best out of the situation, I browsed over the four breakfast options and decided on the create-your-own omelet with egg whites, tomatoes, mushrooms, and brie. (Other breakfast items included a goat cheese omelet, scrambled eggs, and French toast). Two of my friends also ordered breakfast items (an omelet with spinach, bacon, and goat cheese and the French toast), while my third friend chose an item from the lunch section (a chicken club sandwich). Other lunch items included a Roasted Portobello Sandwich, a Three Cheese Panini, and Steak and Fries. Being the only people in the restaurant meant that our food would definitely arrive in no time at all, and I couldn’t wait.

Olivia boasts a very chic, modern decor with its wood floors, bright-colored walls, and funky lamps. Its many windows brighten up the room, making the restaurant appear to be larger than it is, which was not necessarily a positive attribute considering we were the only people seated. However, after surveying the space, I could imagine how the atmosphere would be warm, inviting, and fun when filled with people. I decided then that I would have to return to Olivia on a busier day in order to get the full effect.

Shortly after taking our order, our waitress returned with our coffees, freshly squeezed orange juice, and some warm sourdough bread with herb butter. The drinks were great and the bread was a wonderful snack to hold us over until our meals arrived. And a little while later, they did.

Upon first glance, all the dishes looked fantastic. The omelets were accompanied by great-looking potatoes and toast, the French toast was stuffed with brie and had a pecan compote on top, and there was a hefty pile of fluffy French fries alongside the chicken club sandwich. We were all smiles after our first bites and continued eating in almost silence, enjoying the food in front of us. My omelet was perfectly cooked, with an even distribution of the vegetables and brie throughout—all-in-all delicious. My friends had only good things to say about their meals as well, and after sampling them, I agreed with their positive statements. The French toast was wonderfully sweet and not too rich, and the pecan compote offered a unique flavor and an interesting texture. My friend’s omelet, while containing completely different ingredients than my omelet, was equally delicious, and the chicken club sandwich was also extremely tasty.

After thoroughly enjoying our food, we knew it was time to return to the real world of homework and studying and so we tried to obtain our check from our waitress. However, even though only two other parties had entered the restaurant while we were eating, our waitress seemed to take no notice of us and an unusually long time passed before our dishes were cleared and our check was delivered and collected. It was an unsatisfying end to a very satisfying meal, but overall, I was extremely impressed with Olivia Restaurant and am looking forward to dining there again sometime in the near future.