Ole-a!

Inside-Olea

PC: Olea

I have a firm belief/philosophy in life that I try live by:
“Sharing is caring.”

And what’s one of the best ways to share? TAPAS.

Olea was brought to my attention by my co-workers. They raved about this cute eatery and its uniquely styled Mediterranean offerings… so naturally I couldn’t wait to go! Inside reminds me of a combination of decorations that borders a Pier 1 Import/Antique feel. My taste in a nutshell. It was a very cozy and relaxed environment which is just what we needed after a long work week. We went early to ensure we didn’t miss the happy hour specials…which are great. You can choose from a couple of wines and sangria (both white and red) for $5 each. They also have happy hours for the tapas $3-6 each and $1 oysters M-F and from 4pm-7pm.

Drink-Olea
They bring you out a nice bread basket with EVOO to dip in. It was very fresh and the perfect start to our meal. As for the tapas, we ordered a bunch. The more the merrier, am I right? I’ll try to be concise and highlight the best parts of each dish.

-Almond Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Dates: Umm, what’s not to love about Bacon? The only negative is that they should have given us more. It was an interesting pair with the dates/almonds. Crunchy and crispy.

-Boquerones al Vinagre: It’s a very light “salad” if you will. Not my favorite. But then again I’m biased since I’m not the biggest fan of anchovies (unless they’re in a sauce). But the arugula and toasted almonds helped balance out that strong flavor.

-Spanish ‘Pitza’: One of the best items of the night. It’s sweet, savory, and spicy in one. It’s a crispy thin pizza with quince paste, Manchego, toasted garlic and red pepper. Side note…If you haven’t had Manchego cheese, you’re missin’ out in life!

-Fried Chickpeas: I’d like to think of it textually-like wasabi peas. Pretty good.

-Patatas Bravas: My friend called this the “fancier version of cheesy fiesta potatoes*”. Which I laughed at. This is a killer side dish. The thing that makes it is the harissa aioli. Yum.

-Harissa-Deviled Organic Eggs: Good. Spicy. But nothing special IMO.

-Grilled Whole Wheat Pita with Spicy Feta Dip: The dip was very creamy and fluffy. I liked the unique twist of the added heat.

From what I’ve seen their brunch is pretty popular as well. So I can’t wait to try that soon. But speaking for their dinner experience, it was a pleasant one. The staff was friendly, attentive and patient while we pick our tapas. And of course the food was pretty darn good! At a place like this, try as much as your wallet can allow. (Happy hour certainly helps!!!) I’ll definitely be back to have the full brunch experience.
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*Really? You’re comparing this place to Tbell? Shameee.

171 Lafayette Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11238

 

b/t Adelphi St & Clermont Ave in Fort Greene

(718) 643-7003

oleabrooklyn.com

The Phoenix

Photo Credit: @The Phoenix

Photo Credit: @The Phoenix

Despite the fact that I will miss Pomodorino terribly, I couldn’t wait to try this newly hyped restaurant right smack in the middle of my hometown. First of all, you can’t miss this place. It’s the only black and red building probably in the whole town and a few towns over. Gothic, eclectic and modern decor both outside and inside… it sticks out like a sore thumb. To be honest, the color scheme threw me off from the original color pallet of warm hues. But I heard a lot of wonderful reviews from Newsday (LI newspaper), word of mouth and of course Yelp. My family isn’t one for tapas or small plates. I however, love the idea and concept. Yes, it can get a bit pricey but the quality is impressive. I pass by this place every day and finally had the opportunity to dine at The Phoenix recently.

Considering The Phoenix is affiliated with the same owner as “The Good Life” and “Jam”, I knew the food was going to be good. Inside, The Phoenix could almost be mistaken as a punk rock/gothic -esque lounge. It was a different experience than what I’m used to, but I welcome you with open arms. My friend and I were seating right away and on a weekday night, this place was still hoppin’.

From the look of the menu, they have the “core” menu with includes an array of salads, cured meats and cheeses. Don’t overlook the fact that they have an entree menu as well. We however found ourselves eyeing the small plates menu. Being the adventurous duo that we were… we tried at least one item from the Earth, Land and Sea categories. (Average prices for tapas ranged from $7-$11 each.)

Curry Shrimp & Filet Mignon-The Phoenix        Edamame Potsickers & Brie-The Phoenix

Earth:
–Pecan Crusted Brie, Cherry-Onion Jam- Delectable. The richness of the brie paired very well with the earthiness of the toasted pecans. To top it off, that onion jam cut the bold flavors of the dish by adding a nice touch of acidity. One of my favorite dishes of the night.

–Edamame Potstickers Onion Jus, Ginger Soy- Pretty good! Not too different from other potstickers I’ve had, but nonetheless they added a nice light, refreshing element to our pallet.

Land:
–Filet Mignon, Roasted Mushrooms, Cheese Fondue on a Garlic Crostini- What a mouthful. Literally and figuratively. I’m not a huge fan of mushrooms, but this was downright delicious. I don’t see filet mignon often on a vessel like a crostini, but everything melded together nicely.

Sea:
–Curried Shrimp, Coconut Broth, Calamari, Poached Apricots- What a combination of flavors. Curry and coconut go together like peanut butter in jelly IMO. This small plate was also a star of the night. The spices really woke up our taste buds.

It takes a truly special mind to come up with creative combinations of flavors like these ones here at The Phoenix. I give my hat off to the chef for taking risks that have most definitely paid off. They have successfully managed to push the boundaries of flavor here and I look forward to coming back soon.

P.S. Biggest regret– not trying the Bread Pudding. Next time my friend, next time.

 

3915 Merrick Road, Seaford, NY 11783

(516) 809-9693

thephoenixny.com