#TheFoodMove: Olivia DC

Mediterranean restaurant is a paradise for vegetarians

#TheFoodMove: Olivia DC
The Bronzino from Olivia

Our weekly search for restaurants that probably aren’t on your radar. As young, broke college kids, we will bring you our honest reviews of affordable restaurants in dope neighborhoods.

This week we headed over to Olivia, an awesome Mediterranean restaurant right by the clubs around Gallery Place. 

As soon as you walk in, the gorgeous Mediterranean decor makes you feel like you’re in a scene from one of the “Mamma Mia” movies.

With a diverse menu influenced from Spain, Italy, Portugal, Greece, Morocco and beyond, there is sure to be something for everyone. We were really excited to learn that an overwhelming amount of Olivia's menu is pescatarian/vegetarian-friendly. 

To start, we ordered the manchego plate. The robust taste of the creamy manchego cheese, which is usually overpowering, was mellowed by the delicious Quince preserves that it was paired with on top of perfectly toasted fresh bread. The dish also came with a side of crunchy smoked Marcona almonds.

Another vegetarian starter we tried was the Crimson Lentil Mujadara. We cannot recommend it enough. Unlike most lentil dishes, which can oftentimes be too rich, the Mujadara was light and airy. The feta cheese whip on top provided a cooling flavor that only made the dish better. 

When it comes to entrees, two dishes caught our eye: the chickpea ravioli and the whole roasted Bronzino. 

The chickpea ravioli was without a doubt the most creative ravioli rendition we’ve experienced in the D.C. area. The chickpea paste on the inside was rich and creamy and contained none of the bitterness that often accompanies chickpeas in dishes like hummus. The star of this dish, however, was the Mushroom 'Bolognese' (don't worry, vegetarians: there is no meat in this bolognese!) that accompanied the ravioli. There are no words to describe it. We dipped the ravioli, the bread and anything else we could find into this sauce. 

Bronzino is a staple of any Mediterranean restaurant, and we were really impressed by Olivia’s take on it. The fresh Bronzino was topped with a buttery, lemony rouille sauce, and accompanied by the most delicious orzo salad we’ve tried in the District. 

For dessert, we recommend trying the Hazelnut Profiterole. It's one thing to eat a hazelnut pastry. It's a whole different experience altogether when you get your hands (and fork!) on a hazelnut pastry, shaped like a hazelnut, that is topped with gold leaf!!! 

All in all, we can’t recommend Olivia enough. It should totally be on the top of your list if you’re looking for a nicer, more upscale place. The atmosphere, food and quality service make it a perfect spot for a celebratory dinner, dinner date or meal with visiting parents. We can’t wait to go back soon.

Zak Bedrosian and Aylon Berger are food critics for The Eagle. Additionally, they are the co-founders of TheMove, a weekly social guide for students in the D.C. area.

Email them at themoveau@gmail.com 

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