Tuesday 24 March 2015

A dreamy dinner at Olive Liverpool...

Even though I am lucky enough to try so many wonderful restaurants, I do love the comforting familiarity of visiting an old favourite. For me, heading to a well-loved haunt is like seeing an old friend who you know will never let you down, and so it was on Friday that without a dinner reservation secured, I decided to call one of my all time Liverpool favourites, Olive Restaurant and Bar.
Way back in 2006 when I moved to Liverpool it was one of the first places I tried. Back then it was called The Olive Press and it holds so many happy memories for me of lovely dinners and long lazy lunches over a bottle (or two on occasion!) of wine. It makes me feel so happy to revisit this particular old friend, especially since I used to live so close by. I picked up the phone and was happily accommodated by the lovely manager Neil with an 8.15 table for two.  Since I had a meeting which finished at 6.30, that left just enough time to pop to Amanzi for a couple of pre-dinner cocktails...St. Tropez Plage is my tip from their menu but I digress!  So, after cocktails and wearing my staple Friday evening attire of little black dress and heels, I crossed over Castle Street in the shadow of the historic Town Hall and teetered down the familiar staircase into the candlelit ambiance of Olive. Our table was not quite ready, so after being warmly welcomed we took a seat at one of the bar tables, and a bottle of chilled Chardonnay was placed before us in seconds. As the lamp flickered and threw pools of warm light across the table, we clinked glasses to our old friend and anticipated the meal to come. 

I must make mention of having never eaten a bad meal at Olive and I mean never.  This is saying something since I have dined there for the best part of nine years. Just like at their sister restaurant Gusto, everything at Olive is exceptional, from pizza and pasta to risotto. Ah yes, risotto. Allow me to wax lyrical on what a difficult dish this seems to be for restaurants to get (as Goldilocks would say) just right. I have lost count of the times I have ordered risotto at various restaurants, only to be presented with a puzzling puree or at the other end of the spectrum, a dish so thick and glutinous that it could be used to resurface roads.
Anyway, moving swiftly on, risotto is a dish that Olive gets right every time. Light in texture and with super flavours, I knew before we even sat down that I would be ordering it. Friday night service was in full swing, and as glasses clinked and laughter filled the air around us, the dazzling aromas coming from the kitchen reminded me that I had not eaten since a bowl of Bircher Muesli hours earlier. Thus without further ado, we ordered the tried and true garlic pizza bread with mozzarella to begin proceedings. As usual, the base was crispy and the melted mozzarella made us happy as only melted cheese can. What a time to be alive I thought, as I savoured the perfect bread and pretended to deliberate over main courses despite having already decided.

My partner opted for the Italian burger with mozzarella and pesto, served with fries. It is always good when a restaurant asks how you want a burger cooked, which Olive do. I opted for Pumpkin risotto with parsnip crisps. I honestly could not wait as this just sounded such a delicious dish. This being me, I also ordered a side of Polenta chips. These are just dreamy and I can ever resist the crunchy decadence of them when I visit Olive.  Needs must, and when boats need pushing out Friday night is a perfect time to do so!
Serious burger envy ensued when the mains arrived, the Italian burger was heaped with delicious mozzarella and pesto and it appeared to be the size of a planet. A few small sounds of approval were forthcoming from my partner as he devoured the beast, commenting that it was cooked to perfection and the side of handmade burger relish really added an extra je ne sais quoi, not that it was needed. I meanwhile, was lost in a blissful rhapsody of pumpkin, the risotto was creamy perfection with a hint of smokiness and the parsnip crisps added a lovely crunch of texture. A grinding of black pepper and a sprinkle of Parmesan over the top and this went from great to sensational. As I write this I could happily devour another bowl, never mind that it is past midnight...!

On to dessert and after a few token groans that we were ‘too full’ we managed to convince ourselves that we just had to order dessert in order for me to write a full review.  Excuses, excuses I know. Before you know it we had acquiesced to the delights of Chocolate brownie with ice cream (him) and Chocolate orange and Cointreau cheesecake (me) I was uncertain at this point as to whether the car would be able to carry us home at all! The desserts were as delicious as the mains and I almost couldn't finish, but the wonderfully rich chocolate orange and boozy Cointreau made sinful bedfellows and I just had to continue on until the last delicious forkful was defeated. He adored his brownie in equal measure and it was time for us to bid adieu to the evening over espresso and Amaretto.

I have ordered Amaretto at the end of my meals at Olive forever and the lovely Paul (who we have known for ages) made me laugh by having a glass ready for me at the end of the meal. We all had a lovely chat about restaurants, renovating houses and low - carb diets (which I think I need to resort to after this meal!) it was a wonderful evening and I think I will be seeing my old friend Olive again very soon! Thank you to Neil, Paul and everyone who made our evening so enjoyable!

 Great seeing you Paul!


Outfit-Zara dress and Primark heels, Marc B at Topshop bag.

 Olive Restaurant and Bar
25-27 Castle Street, Liverpool, L24TA
0151 227 2303

 What do you guys think, would you like to eat at Olive Restaurant and Bar? I love to read your thoughts and thank you for reading this post! 

Until next time,




  1. That food looks incredible. What a fun restaurant!

  2. Oh wow the food looks so good!!


  3. Oh looks delicious! Getting me hungry in time for lunch :)


  4. great post!!

  5. The food looks delicious and I love your outfit :)

    Rebecca Coco

  6. Great post! looks very yummy!

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    Tom and Tins Blog

  7. I'm totally in love with your style!

    Alice Cerea,

  8. The food looks like it was so good. And you look amazing, love your outfit <3 x

  9. Oh yum that risotto looks and sounds amazing! Much tastier than the grilled cheese sandwich I just made myself for lunch, haha! :)

    Away From The Blue

  10. Gorgeous restaurant the food looks amazing!