For those of you who already know this restaurant, rest assured, L’Olivé remains the same as always. With a modern room and an updated menu, but without moving a millimeter from the essence with which this restaurant started with more than 30 years ago. They offer a simple market meal, without artifice, but with fresh ingredients and exceptional service.
Here, what you see is what it is. If you ask for sole, you will find sole on your dish; one of great quality and cooked so that its natural flavor stands out above everything else. And fresh, as you can see with your own eyes the open kitchen bar that gives access to the main dining room. The same can be said for the rest of the fish on the menu, and their meats, shellfish and vegetables. All season and proximity, cooked with the wisdom of a few cooks that for decades have dedicated to preserving the most of the essence of the main product, in a simple but compelling manner. What comes from the field, tastes like the countryside. What comes from the sea, tastes like the sea.
It’s in the simplicity of its dishes where L’Olive gives the best of itself. Its carpaccio with parmesan flakes tastes like good veal, but with a fine cut and soft texture that invites you to eat it practically without chewing. The same happens with the boneless pork, tender but with a powerful and memorable flavor. For lovers of sea products, there is a good assortment of fish and shellfish. Their sweetened cod fritters concentrate on a mouthful of years of experience debugging a traditional recipe to achieve the perfect texture and flavor. The Cannelloni de Txangurro, presented with a fine zucchini wrap and a meditated touch of salmon roe, allows you to enjoy the taste of the best seafood without staining your hands. And for the purists of the fish, the whole sapito donostiarra surprises both the eye and the palate, with a white and juicy meat. And with the detail of serving the sauce on the side, which is appreciated, although the pure taste of the fish cooked at its point is enough by itself.
L’Olivé is one of those places where you can enjoy a predominant but not exclusively Catalan cuisine, with a menu that adapts to the seasonal products. Calçots to start the year, escudella of nadal to finish it, and Esqueixada, xatonada or cod from the Llauna to taste any time of the year. All this accompanied by a varied menu of local, national and international wines – if you have a hard time deciding, do not hesitate to consult someone from the friendly and experienced team that serves in L’Olivé. The dessert menu is also varied, with all of the desserts made here and all as good as they appear.
But the obsession of this restaurant for offering an exceptional meal does not diminish the whole experience. With a large main hall, two bars and four private rooms, this place has been refurbished in its entirety to offer an elegant but not ostentatious atmosphere, fresh because of the current design but warm because of how cozy it turns out. All the details count: the quality of the materials, the range of colors used, the lighting and the ambient music. A combination of facts that convey the feeling of being in an exclusive place, but at the same time feeling at home. Comfort is especially appreciated in a place like this, because the atmosphere invites relaxed conversations and long desserts. Unless you come up with very clear ideas, it will take you a while to decide among so many good dishes. Nor do you need to think too much, whatever your choice, you’ll be right.
Carrer de Balmes, 47, 08007 Barcelona
Hours: Monday to Sunday from 1:00pm to 4:00pm and 8:00pm to 11:30pm
Average price: 50€
Text: Jaime Arribas
Photos: Uxía Estévez