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Only a hour flight away from Las Vegas we visit frequently, sometimes once a month. I'll be sharing our trip reports, tips on making the most of your stay in Vegas, reviews of restaurants and shows we have seen, along with my thoughts related to our favorite place to get away from it all.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Olives Restaurant Review

Nighttime view of Bellagio Fountains from the patio at Olives.
Olives, one of Todd English's restaurants is located at Bellagio and is moderately priced for Las Vegas. We eaten there at least 8 times in the past few years and 3 times this year. While there are other good Italian/Mediterranean type restaurants on the strip, Olives stands out above all the rest for their patio seating overlooking the Bellagio Fountain show. If you like the Bellagio fountains the patio at Olives will provide a wonderful experience. The only draw back is the limited seating on the patio, so if you don't have a reservation at the time the restaurant opens or aren't prepared to wait a hour or more you are going to be seated instead inside a crowded noisy dining room and bar area.

I've only eaten once inside Olives and even though we had a window table overlooking the fountains it just didn't have the ambiance of the outdoor patio seating, so my advice is to make a 5:00pm reservation when the restaurant first opens and arrive around 4:30 to 4:45pm to stand in line, to be sure you are seated at one of the patio tables. 

Here's a link to one of the fountain shows as seen from a table on the patio of Olives. As with any venue, it's all about location baby!

Ambiance of course isn't everything, we look for good service and fabulous food too. I've been very lucky and out of our 8 dining experiences at Olives we've only once had poor service. This year 2010, the service was spot on and the servers also made a effort to be extra friendly. 

I've never had a bad lunch or dinner at Olives and sometimes it's likely just a matter of personal taste and what I don't love, someone else might. Consistently over the last few years everything has been good, but some of the recent meals really stood out and below are just a few of our favorites.

The meal begins with a assortment of flat cracker bread with cheese, focaccia and rolls served with assorted olives, along with green and black olive tapenade.

The bar at Olives has a good assortment of signature drinks. The first night we ate at Olives during our October trip I tried their Passionate O, which surprise was made with passion fruit, limoncello, vodka and a couple other things I fail to recall. It was a bit on the sweet side but enjoyable.
A couple nights later when I ate there again, I ordered the Slingback which was less sweet and more to my taste. The Slingback is the default drink the servers recommend. Ask them when you are ordering drinks what they recommend among the martinis and other speciality drinks and I bet they suggest the Slingback.

For appetizers/starters they offer a variety of flatbreads none of which I have ordered so far, though they look great when being delivered to other tables.

Appetizers that I have enjoyed this year are a wonderfully refreshing lobster salad.

Belgium Endive salad as a starter which contained shaved pears with roasted pistachios, grilled brie cheese, organic mixed greens with endive of course and a champagne vinaigrette. 

Asparagus salad with arugula.
Recent outstanding entrees:

Seabass, which was so delicious I started to chow down on it before remembering to take a photo!
A perfectly cooked Ribeye with onion rings and the most delicious potato croquettes that I enjoyed in October.
My husband ordered the halibut in October and said it was great and it was good, but believe me when I say the ribeye was the stand out entree this year for me at Olives.
I've made the round ordering entrees with scallops and during our October 2010 trip had them at Wolfgang Puck's Postrio and then 2 nights later ordered them at Olives. Yes, I ate at Olives twice during a six night trip. Olives had the better scallop preparation that trip.
A friend of mine the evening I ordered the scallop's went with the chicken and said it was tender and flavorful. She had almost ordered the rib eye I had on another evening just to try the potato coquettes that came with it, but our server was nice enough to arrange with the kitchen to add those to her chicken entree.
Olives has a good selection of desserts but the winner every trip is the vanilla souffle. Pictured below is the one served to my husband this year on his birthday.

The chocolate dessert that our server recommended to me was good, but not as delish as that vanilla souffle.
Try Olives, I doubt you will be disappointed if you arrive early and score a patio table. With the Bellagio Fountains playing it will be one of those dining experiences you will always remember.

For a current menu for Olives visit Todd English's website:

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