Restaurant Offers Taste of Classic Italian With a Delightfully Modern Twist
A taste of classic Italian with a delightfully modern twist is at hand at Oliveto Italian Bistro. The smell of fresh-baked bread enveloped me as I walked through the door and was greeted by friendly faces. It was immediately clear that their staff is trained as if the restaurant is part of a major corporation, though they only have three locations: Moore, Tulsa and Tyler, Texas.
Each host and server at Oliveto sports an all-black attire that bodes well with the dim, but not too dim, lighting and exudes the air of a highly trained professional, proven through their intimate knowledge of the menu.
I began my night with an introduction from the server, who walked me through Oliveto’s Specials Menu and drinks list. It was a friendly approach to wine–you don’t have to be a sommelier to find something you like.
For an appetizer, I tried the Bruschetta “Sundae,” aptly named due to its presentation of the basil, tomato, garlic and asiago mixture in a martini glass, with a side of artisan bread to dip. The balsamic glaze topped it off with a sense of a caprese salad or yet another familiar taste of Italian.
My small Greek salad was the next item to come out. When you think of a casual Greek salad, do capers come to mind? Not typically, and their flavor made this one of the most refreshing salads I have encountered at a restaurant chain. A perfect combination of the classic Greek flavor while still savoring the bruschetta made way for my salmon meal. My medium-rare salmon was served on a wooden plank along with jalapeno risotto, broccoli and artisan bread.
I couldn’t help but dig into the salmon as soon as it hit the table. Its light pink and fluffy exterior broke easily, revealing the perfectly cooked fresh meat. My compliments to the chef.
The jalapeno risotto is nearly famous at Oliveto. “Everybody loves it,” co-owner Sean Fry says. The piquancy of the jalapeno was just enough to taste but not overwhelmingly spicy, which was appealing to my sensitive palate.
I have to mention Oliveto’s artisan bread, baked in-house and served with any meal. When paired with the bruschetta, it is served grilled. With the salad and the meal, it was served warm, crispy and steaming.
I followed my meal with an almost celebratory Peach Bellini–a frozen cocktail–that tasted, to be precise, exactly like a peach. (Those things are dangerous.) And, after a few minutes of taking in the atmosphere–the music went from the Temptations to the Alabama Shakes in order to add to their modern twist–I ordered dessert.
The bread pudding was to die for. Served best with a cup of coffee, the bread and ice cream melted in my mouth. It contained some of the richest sweets in one dessert that I have ever experienced, and the coffee gave me the kick I needed to get back on the road.
In my time at Oliveto, I met a delightful couple wearing T-shirts and shorts, saw a few well-behaved toddlers and also admired a beautiful couple, dressed for an evening out. Not once did I feel either overdressed or underdressed in that friendly environment.
For some classic Italian in an atmosphere that is “a little more casual,” as Fry says, I recommend Oliveto Italian Bistro.
Oliveto Italian Bistro Hours:
Sunday – Thursday 11 a.m.–10 p.m.
Friday and Saturday 11 a.m.–11 p.m.
Enjoy $2 domestic beers Monday through Friday from 4–6 p.m.
Or, order half-price appetizers and pizzas from 8 p.m. until close.