A couple of weeks ago, I attended the grand re-opening party of Olive’s restaurant in Charlestown, MA. I had been there before a fire caused it to close down but it was awhile ago, so I was excited to head in and see the revamped menu and décor. The night was set to begin with a private Chilean Olive Oil tasting, followed by drinks and hors deurves in the bar and restaurant area.
I had actually never done an olive oil tasting before and found it to be just like a wine tasting. First we ate a slice of apple to cleanse our palate and then we swirled the glass of oil and we tried their smooth oil and followed that up with a sip of the bold one. As you take a sip, we also were shown how to breathe in and let oxygen sneak in and open up the taste of the oil. Both were complex and really tasty, with the smooth one featuring a fruity or nutty taste while the bold was fresh and peppery.
There was a ceviche bar with tuna, red snapper, and flounder, plus plenty of passed snacks. Brushetta, fried asparagus, foie gras with a cherry tapenade, and chicken liver pate with balsamic onions, came out one after another. Event goers could head into the restaurant, from the private room, after the tasting, for drinks and more snacks after that, which was great.
There was duck confit with risotta and a pea salad, sweet pea panacotta, and flatbread pizzas. And as if there wasn’t enough variety, Greek salad was served on endive, raw quail eggs featured olive oil and salt and pepper, and olive oil martinis were passed to wash it down. The man of the hour, chef and owner Todd English, made his way through the crowd and my bf and I had the chance to ask a few quick questions!
I wondered what his connection with Chilean oil was and he said basically he was drawn to how fresh and flavorful it is. He loves the purity of the olive oil and prefers it over any other kind. I asked how he had found the product and he said that frankly someone approached him and he instantly fell in love with the complexity and wanted to incorporate it into his new menu. He stands behind the product and is working to bring more exposure, he also mentioned. And I then asked if we should look out for a Todd English branded Chilean olive oil and he said coyly “I don’t know but it could be a good idea!”
*I also included a few recipes on my Examiner column, so check that out too!