Where I Was
Olive & Ivy Mediterranean Kitchen, Eatontown, NJ
Thursday, October 10, 7:16 p.m.
Where I Sat
It was a lively night, with some people in the private room to the right of the entrance, so I veered left and took a table by the window.
Who Served Me
The enthusiastic Kyle: informed, gregarious, and on his game.
Server’s Favorite Bite
Kyle was emphatic as he stated, “The bistro steak is one of my favorites. It’s just a really good cut and prepared so well. If steak is what you’re in the mood for, you can’t go wrong.”
The Vibe and My Vantage Point
Olive & Ivy has a simple aesthetic, with wood integrated throughout. It provides nice use of stonework and essence of “bringing the outside in” with touches that imbue serenity. The birch tree serving as a partition in the dining room to the right, before the few steps up, is a nice focal point. I don’t quite get the montage to black-and-white film paired with the fall decor, but I appreciate the artistic gesture nonetheless.
What Fed My Soul
Complimentary Bread Basket
Delicious sliced bread served with an olive oil dish, complete with anchovy and kalamata olives floating amidst the gorgeous, golden pool. The robust, high quality olive oil made the bread seem almost ancillary until I noticed its quality. The crust was tasty and not too crumby. This was followed by the spongy texture of the inside that held up beautifully against the richness of the oil. The crispy crust pushing against the briny little fish beneath the oil was absolutely divine.
Traditional Greek egg and lemon soup with chicken and Arborio rice.
While this was delicious, the rice was either completely melted into the soup base or wasn’t there at all. That was a big disappointment as my usual expectation would have been orzo. As I continuously scooped, no rice appeared. (I even asked if they forgot to add it in.) As even the greenest of chefs know you can’t let your starch sit in your soup! No matter how hard I wished, no rice appeared. Not all was lost, though, as the soup itself was plentiful with hand-torn pieces of scrumptious white-meat chicken. The creamy consistency of the broth made way to the soft-yet-tart lemon notes. It was absolutely spot on for flavor indeed. Next time, I vote orzo!
Char-grilled skewered meat served with fried potatoes and tzatziki. (Also available with beef for $18, and chicken or pork for $17)
The presentation alone was unique. The skewer hung vertically off a metal contraption that Kyle used to carry the plate over to me, but the lamb cubes were glistening and the fragrance was amazing. I loved the cup of fries, the triangular pita and the little, well-chopped mound of Greek salad with the ramekin of homemade tzatziki. Excited to make my own little souvlaki, I dug straight in—wowza. I stacked the ideal bite which included the lamb, which was cooked to perfection; a healthy smear of the herby-cucumber tzatziki, which was on point; followed by a well-seasoned French fry, and topped with Greek salad. Once I fit the first bite into my mouth the flavor just exploded. I was dizzy; it was just that good!
Sautéed seasonal greens
In this case, it was a delicious blend of kale and spinach. I was at first disappointed that I ordered veggies instead of baklava for dessert. However, when this dish arrived and I took my first bite, I had an immediate change of heart.
What Else to Know
Olive & Ivy offers dine-in, catering, and take out. Daily specials and private space for special occasions are available.
When to Show
Tuesday to Sunday 11:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Know Before You Go!
BYO! Closed Mondays. Get the latest information by checking the website.
Olive & Ivy Mediterranean Kitchen
78 Route 35
Eatontown, NJ 07724
A Lady Walks into a BYO™ and A Lady Walks into a Bar™ are owned, operated, and trademarked by Gabrielle Garofalo.