June 10, 2008

The Black Olive

The Black Olive
814 S. Bond Street
Baltimore, MD 21231

I had been dying to try out this restaurant for a long time. It is located in Fell's Point along one of the cobblestone roads that make driving it a pain in the ass but look very pretty. Being a vegetarian makes going out to eat a little difficult because it's hard to find a restaurant that offers a palate of vegetarian options outside of a salad.

I met up with a group of friends (there were 5 total). We had a reservation at 6pm on a Sunday evening and were surprised to find the restaurant quite empty. A few friends waited at the bar for us and mentioned that their drink choices were fabulous (one had an organic white wine and the other an organic beer (Pinkus).

We were promptly seated at a table near a window. The inside of this restaurant reminds me of an old stone cottage. I'm not quite sure how to explain it. The windows were arched and had old vases in them. And the chairs were cushioned! I know it sounds ridiculous to compliment a chair but it was very comfortable.

The waitress was friendly and happily answered all of our menu questions. She also mentioned that if we wanted fish, we could take a look at them? As a non-fish eater I didn't quite understand this but I guess if you're a fish-eating connoisseur, this is a big deal.

They brought out some bread for the table with olive oil. The bread was amazing! Very dense, almost cake-like and delicious.

My husband and I split an appetizer of the village pie upon the waitress's recommendation. The village pie consists of spinach, red swiss chard, leeks, sheep’s milk cheeses in a homemade phyllo. Very greek and very delicious.

I ordered the "vegetarian special of the day" which consisted of grilled mushrooms, green peppers, onions, zucchini on a kabab with some roasted beets, hummus and an eggplant dip on the side. Very good although not really worth $28. I think I'm used to equating high cost with big quantity or perhaps a more exotic flavor. Like I said though, it was very good.

Amongst my friends, they ordered free range prime beef tenderloin grand filet ($38), Grilled yellow fin tuna steak, sushi quality ($29), the Black Olive Special Grill ($34) that consisted of Lobster, octopus, clams, sardines, scampi, shrimp, mussels, calamari and scallop on the grill and the Appetizer Combination ($20) that consisted of A beautiful plate of our four traditional spreads: tarama, tzatziki, melitzanasalata and hummus, with olives and feta cheese.

Everyone was very satisfied with their meal and the waitress kept up stocked with breads and beverages.

For dessert, my husband and I tried the Rein de Saba ($9). It's description sold us:
Flourless chocolate cake made with Belgian chocolate, roasted ground hazelnuts
and a rich ganache frosting, lush beyond belief.

I don't quite know what "lush beyond belief" really means but the cake was very good. Very chocolate-y although not quite as creamy as cakes made WITH flour (I'm guessing that was the difference?).

My friend sampled the pear tarte tartin ($9) and seemed to enjoy it as well.

Overall I would highly recommend this restaurant. Make reservations though because it seems to fill up! Halfway through our dinner we noticed quite a large crowd filling up the restaurant. They offer a large variety of food and boast organic ingredients.

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