When Hannah and her sweet mother invited me to Olive & June for dinner last Thursday night, I could not have been more excited to eat a delicious Italian meal with a great group! Our dinner was a lovely kickoff to our sorority's Mom's Weekend - three days of nonstop food and family fun. Look out for another critique of Clark's Oyster Bar, coming soon!
Olive & June was warm, spacious and beautifully candlelit. The scene was more than appropriate for an intimate date or family gathering. We were surrounded by couples, girls' nights out and families with adorable babies. The dark wood and dish cloth napkins showed the comfortable twist to a sophisticated space.
Our waiter first offered freshly baked, sea-salt encrusted focaccia with homemade ricotta. Yes, please. Keep scrolling for the most fabulous dishes I've had in a while....
We loved the seafood frito misto with arugula and lemon - the jumbo shrimp, calamari and fish were somehow flash fried so lightly, that you could barely see the breaded layer. It provided the perfect crunch without overwhelming the seafood. Zucchini involtini was my personal favorite; not just because it had mushrooms, but because the choice of ingredients and presentation were so creative. The mushrooms were pureed with pine nuts, almost like a pesto (not like the one I attempted in December), and wrapped in thin strips of zucchini. The tomatoes and golden raisins were both citrus-y, but provided completely contrasting textures and flavors. So interesting and so freaking yum.
Brenna and I ordered two entrees to split - my favorite way to order at any restaurant, as you may know. The whole wheat ravioli was a winner; stuffed with goat cheese and sprinkled with pistachios, the rich flavor of the filling balanced well with a light olive oil and parmesean topping. Spring risotto was also a delicious choice. We ordered it without proscuitto to truly highlight the sweat peas and asparagus with savory mascarpone cheese.
Hannah and her mom also ordered the grilled branzino with citrus and hazelnut. While I didn't get a bite myself, the fish was cooked to perfection and paired well with grapefruit segments and watercress. For sides, the four of us chose the baked eggplant with mozzarella and roasted baby beets, served family style. Both were unbelievable.
Hungry yet? Make a reservation soon and enjoy the beauty of North Italy right here in Austin.