April 7, 2010
A couple of weeks ago, before a movie at the Harvard Exit on Capitol Hill, we stopped in for dinner at Olivar, the popular Spanish-French bistro located in the historic Loveless Building right across the street from the theater.
Every dish from the Baby Lettuces with Butternut Squash and Roasted Pumpkin Seeds to the Sea Scallops with Roasted Cauliflower, Pine Nuts, Currants, and Fresno Chile Oil was outstanding, but it was one of the ever-changing daily specials–the Mussels with Salsa Verde–that really won my heart. Tarragon was the herb du jour/del día featured in a light broth that might have been thickened with tangy crème fraîche rather than weighted down with heavy cream.
Coincidentally, a few days later, a press release showed up in my in box, touting three-course, $25 “Taxpayer Special” dinners offered at Olivar three nights a week.
“Everyone can use a little help these days,” says chef/owner, Philippe Thomelin.
The prix-fixe menu will run through April on Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights. (As of April 1, Olivar will be closed on Mondays.) The $25 “Taxpayer Special” will also be available during Sunday brunch hours.
Here’s a sample menu:
Baby Lettuce with Roasted Butternut Squash, Sage Vinaigrette & Pumpkin Seeds
Nettle Soup with Wild Rice, Hazelnut & Cranberry
Serrano Ham Tarte Fine with Caramelized Onion & Aged Mahon
Pimiento Relleno a lo Pobre (Stuffed Anaheim pepper with braised pork, potato & fried egg)
Grilled Squid with Housemade Harissa & Crusted Vegetable Galette
Roasted Quail Stuffed with Mushroom, Sage & Polenta
Chocolate & Almond Pithiviers
Rhubarb & Apple Crumble with Vanilla English Custard