Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Restaurant Review: Slightly Oliver

Last night was Valentine's Day. So OF COURSE I went to a romantic gastropub with one of my best friends to have lots of punch and eat some food. Isn't that what everyone does on Valentine's Day? No? I'm confused.

Anyway, it was Valentine's Day and my boy lives in a different city and Mills' is single so we decided that the best idea ever would be for the two of us to go out, eat some delicious food at a non-romantic locale and drink...a lot. I must say that I believe we succeeded.

Gael Greene, the Insatiable Critic, wrote a review of Slightly Oliver, a cocktail-themed gastropub that opened only 5 blocks from my apartment, that was glowing. Obviously it had its flaws, as it is new, but overall her review was extremely positive, and being the (slightly obsessed) fan that I am, I had to try it. 

Now any legitimate person who goes to a cocktail bar obviously has to order a cocktail first. The cocktail menu is split into classics (prohibition style drinks like their signature negroni or apricot-infused manhattan), "tasty cocktails", punches, and beer and wine. Being the drunkard that I am, I of course ordered a punch. After reviewing the menu I decided on the Bollywood Punch--Jamaican Rum, brandy, oranges, cardamom, rosemary and agave. It was very good, except when I got to the end and there was a nice chunk of cardamom waiting for me. Not quite a pleasant surprise. Oh...and the glasses were miniature. No joke.

This glass is only about 5 inches tall. Very small. Not worth the price, methinks. *sigh*

When we sat down Mills ordered a punch as well (good girl!) called the Goblin Punch. Her punch was a mix of gin, white lillet, celery water, green fermented grapes, kiwi, green apples, English cucumber, sage and peppercorn reduction. To be honest, it kind of tasted like a really watered down green smoothie. It just tasted a little...vegetabley. It was good, don't get me wrong, but...vegetabley.

mmm flatbread. Seriously who doesnt like flatbread. Although maybe restaurants should just call it what it Cause seriously, who doesnt like pizza?

In addition to having "loving to drink" in common, Mills and I also share a mutual "love to eat". So entrees would simply not satisfy us. Plus it was Valentine's Day, so obviously we had to be romantic and share an appetizer. Since Mills is a vegetarian (YES! I am actually friends with a vegetarian. And I like going out to eat with her.) we decided to get the vegetarian flatbread with oven-dried tomatoes, oyster mushrooms, feta and an herb vinaigrette. To be was delicious. We gobbled that shit up.

I'm not sure why this picture is sideways, but Blogspot clearly hates me today. It still looks good though, no?

 Because I clearly don't respect vegetarians (just kidding!), I ordered a plate full of meat. But seriously, I actually did--I ordered the short ribs, which Gael Greene waxed poetic about in her review. The short ribs were served with celery root puree, braised leeks and an apple gastrique. In all honestly, they were delicious. The bones were removed so I didn't have to eat around that, the leeks were tasty and the cipollini onion nuggets were a pleasant addition. I would definitely eat this again.

Pretty appetizing looking for a plate with no meat on it, eh?

Amelia, being the herbivore that she is, ordered the swiss chard and ricotta ravioli. To be honest, it probably clogged her arteries with the amount of butter and cream in one sauce, cause I'm pretty sure my one bite did. She said she was happy with it, but that the sauce was a bit greasy. Note to Slightly Oliver--just because it has butter in it, does not mean a sauce will be automatically delicious. Taste that shit before it goes out. That's a small issue that could have easily been corrected.

Even with the greasy sauce, our meal was pretty good for a place that focuses on cocktails. Our cocktails were pretty good, but not amazing. Overall...there's a possibility I'd return, but that's mainly because its only a few blocks away and most of the places around me are wine bars. If you don't live in the UWS, I definitely would not suggest you travel to try it.

But then again, if my review has convinced you that Slightly Oliver should be your next dining destination, you can find it at 511 Amsterdam Avenue, between 84 and 85, or online at

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