Food Porn: Oliver’s

I’ve been dying to try Oliver’s since we started Buffalo Eats.  When I started doing my research of what were Buffalo’s best restaurants, Oliver’s came up over and over again.  The current ownership have been running the restaurant for the last 25 years but the history of the restaurant goes back much further.  Their fine dining menu has evolved over that time with different Chef’s manning the kitchen.  We decided to finally visit during restaurant week when the meal would be more affordable.  While our trip to Oliver’s wasn’t a “normal visit”, we still had a chance to experience their fine dining for a great deal, here is what we had..

Quick Info:

  • Restaurant Type: Fine Dining
  • Cuisine: Fine Dining
  • Location: North Buffalo
  • Prices: Appetizers $10-15, Small Plates $14-25, Entrees $25-40

I actually first visited Oliver’s during Restaurant Week’s Preview Night this past spring.  That night I mostly hung out around the bar and tried some appetizers, so I didn’t have a proper idea about their menu or the location itself.  I assumed that Oliver’s was going to have that classic “old school” restaurant feel, which I thought was confirmed after giving my car to the valet service and walking in and seeing their lovely grand piano near the bar.  But as we walked to our table I noticed the rest of the restaurant has a more modern atmosphere.  With interesting pieces art on the walls and sleek lighting, it was different then I expected.

What did meet our the expectations was very good service and creative food that was elegantly plated and presented, something we hadn’t seen since (or even before) our trip to Ross Warhol’s Farm to Table dinner.  For the restaurant week deal Alli decided to start with the House Made Burrata with small heirloom tomatoes, basil and prosciutto on top of a grilled baguette.  Alli, who normally isn’t a fan of tomatoes (although she loves tomato based things like red sauce), devoured the entire plate.  If you are a fan of all of the components that go into a caprese salad, you will love this dish.  We’ve talked about our love of burrata before, it’s a delicious twist on your standard fresh mozzarella and paired with a good olive oil and crusty bread, you can’t go wrong.  I tried the peaches with pickled chilies, beet emulsion and whipped goat cheese.  The peaches were ripened just right and the beet emulsion and whipped goat cheese had a great texture that really complimented the peaches.  The pickled chilies definitely gave the appetizer a pretty intense kick but paired nicely with the sweetness of the peaches and the savory flavor from the goat cheese.

For our entrees I decided to try the Beef Short Ribs that were on top of a pumpkin polenta and garlic broccoli.  Besides being a little salty the beef was so tender that it fell apart with the side of my fork and practically melted in my mouth.  The pumpkin polenta had a familiar taste to it, almost like a lightly flavored mashed sweet potato or yam.  While it was very good it wasn’t something dramatically different that I was hoping for.  In retrospect I wish I had tried something else from their menu but I suppose I’ll have to try something “unique” on my next visit.

Alli ordered the Crispy Chicken entree (the exact details elude me, but it was slightly different then what they initially had posted online and not on their regular menu) which we jokingly referred to as a “fancy chicken nugget”.  I don’t in any way mean that as a slight.  The meal consisted of breaded chicken “nuggets” that were fried and paired with tiny cooked potatoes and carrots that was all placed on top of a large dollop of buttermilk ranch.  That said, Alli absolutely loved her meal.  Obviously the chicken was nothing like a fast food chicken nugget and was incredibly juicy and full of flavor and whatever they used for their breading was fantastic. Luckily, the portions of both courses weren’t large enough to prevent us from ordering a dessert off their menu and we opted for this caramel concoction ($8, pictured below).

The dessert was a shortbread cookie that was topped with caramel ice cream with pecans, topped with a caramel toffee like bark, caramel sauce and strawberries.  Aside from the cookie being a little hard, making it difficult to cut up and split the dish between us, it was a great dessert to end the night with.

We had a really great meal and the $21.11 pricetag was a steal, normally it would cost much more to eat here.  But I still feel like I haven’t truly had an authentic “Oliver’s” experience, they weren’t even offering the normal menus that night (although I’m sure if I wanted to I could have asked for the menu).  My Peach small plate wet my appetite to see some of the unique and inventive dishes that Oliver’s is known for.  I left feeling confident that Oliver’s lives up to their reputation in our small city and when it comes to choosing a nice restaurant for our next celebratory meal, I’ll be keeping them in mind.

Oliver's on Urbanspoon

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