Restaurant Review: Anchovies & Olives w/ easy booking through OpenTable

Hi everybody!
Today's post is a restaurant review of one of Ethan Stowell's restaurants: Anchovies & Olives. We ate there for a little celebration and mainly because it has been on my list for ages and every time I have tried to walk-in to eat there, there is either no room OR a party booked! This time, I used OpenTable to reserve a spot online and it was quick and easy with instant confirmation. I really wish more restaurants were on OpenTable! But I digress, back to the review..

The place has a nice low-lit feel that provides great ambiance. The most eye-catching thing when you walk in would have to be the huuuge marble block in their open kitchen that people were working all around either folding napkins, chopping veggies, or preparing our dishes. The bar stove is right across it and you can see everyone working in action. Right next to it is a separate that also has separate bar seating. The place isn't very big and is only open in the evenings from 5pm - 11pm (sometimes they host private parties too) so I would highly recommend making a reservation online!

Now on to the food!
1) Treviso salad: I believe it was Lacinto kale that was the green part and it was massaged in this tasty anchovy like dressing with some apple slices and some chili for a bit of heat. This was surprisingly tasty and though the kale wasn't super tender and needed a bit of chew work, it worked well for the dish.

2) Soft cooked eggs: This came with 2 soft cooked eggs, cut in half, with a white anchovy on top with anchovy aioli and panagrattato (bread crumbs). This dish had an excellent visual presentation and each bite was delicate and delicious. I just wish you either got more eggs or that it didn't cost as much as it does.

3) Grilled Green Beans: This isn't on their current menu but it was when I went there. The grilled green beans had a nice smoked flavor without losing the crunch and it was paired beautifully with this romesco sauce that had red pepper and almonds, I believe. Again, a little pricey for what you are paying for at $12 for only a handful of beans but very tasty nonetheless.

4) Spaghetti Neri: Black spaghetti pasta with uni (sea urchin), roasted leeks, and chili. This was what I wanted to come to Anchovies & Olives the most for, but sadly, it really was a disappointment. The uni was in the sauce and I could not really taste it in the slightest in the sauce, which was also a bit watery. The noodles were also cooked a little bit too aldente for my liking. Overall, I wouldn't really recommend it, but have other dishes I would recommend that I will discuss soon!

5) Tonarelli: This pasta was paired with dungeness crab, sofrito, and chili. Again, this is a little different than their current menu. We all thought the noodles were a little too hard for this dish too. Loved all the crab bits in this dish but I do wish there was a bit more flavor in the sofrito sauce.

6) Linguine: This had excellent clam and white wine flavor but it was way too spicy! The chef may have put a few too many sprinkles of red pepper flakes in it, but if you like a kick in your pasta, this is definitely a good choice.

7) Polenta: My favorite dish of the night! Again, this isn't on their current menu and I hope they do bring it back! This had wild mushrooms, pecorino, and a farm egg yolk. This was the creamiest, rich, and delicate dish that also had a comfort food feeling to it. The mushrooms paired well with everything and of course, an egg yolk makes everything better! Definitely recommend it to people who love rich creamy or cheesy type of dishes.

8) Pistachio Cannoli: This was a decent dessert dish with a crunchy shell for the pistachio filling. The filling wasn't that sweet and it was a little thick for my taste but I found it paired with the ice cream on the side really well. The flavor of the ice cream was hard to distinguish; it wasn't vanilla or chocolate or pistachio to my taste buds.

9) Panna cotta: This was delicious and perfectly rich and creamy without being too thick. I don't care for dried cherries much which was on the dish, so I just ate around it. The little crumble bits were a nice touch too.

Overall, I enjoy Ethan Stowell restaurants as this is my 3rd one I have been to. I love how every bathroom also has these wonderful thick paper towels, haha. But food wise, the dishes are well prepared and thought out while keeping it simple and not doing too much to them. I do wish a few dishes were a bit better for my tastes, but I would definitely recommend this place if you fancy a nicer dinner in the city and I'd go back to try some other dishes.

Readers, what are you favorite Italian dishes? Do you have any go-to spots in your city? Let me know!

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