Oliver’s is a small place with mostly padded and tufted booth seating. The dining room has bare wood tables, low lighting, music in the background, art on the walls and windows to the street. One wall mostly holds wine and above the racks are huge piles of corks. The wine selection is limited but they have lots of cocktails available. The menu has a number of local seafood offerings as well as some seafood shipped into the area. There were several nightly specials. Service was efficient, super friendly and happy to have us share things and bring them in courses.
We started with their adaptation of a Negroni – a Blood Orange Negroni made with Hendricks gin, Bulls Head blood orange soda, campari, sweet vermouth and orange. It was pretty but a little sweeter than a regular Negroni. It was perfect to sip while we looked over the menu.
Bread service was warm slices of soft bread with a honey-pesto butter. Even though there was not crispness to the crust it was satisfying and really tasty with the seasoned butter. They offered to bring more if we wanted.
Our first appetizer was the Crispy Cod Tongues with pan seared scrunchions, and citrus tartar. The tongue was actually closer to a throat but a more fun name. They were meaty and tender. Scrunchions were their name for bits of crispy salt pork, and they were terrific, with a lot more flavor than the fish. However it was a good combination to eat together and well complimented by the citrus tartar sauce. This was a good one.
The Newfoundland Organic Mussels were steamed and served in a white wine and roasted garlic sauce with toasted baguette. The buttery garlic sauce went perfectly with the plump tasty mussels. The toasted bread was great to sop up some of the remaining juice. Really tasty here.
One of the nightly specials was a pan seared Newfoundland halibut ($36) with lemon ginger coconut butter, green beans and rice. We added Seared Sea Scallops to the plate. It was an excellent piece of fish with a light sauce. The fish had a tender flake to the meat. The rice was perfectly cooked and the green beans were mixed with green peppers to a fun effect. You got 5 scallops with the add on and they were also perfectly cooked. Nothing on the plate was an ‘in your face with flavor’ type of thing but everything was very fresh, good and tasty.
Fresh Newfoundland lobster was another nightly special ($41) and came with green beans, new potatoes and butter for dipping. The lobster was not as sweet as some from other areas but was a good size to split with plenty of butter to adorn it. The little potatoes were really good and this time the green beans had red bell peppers mixed in. All the vegetables were wonderfully fresh and tasty. It’s always messy work to eat an unshelled lobster but worth the effort.
For dessert they had Birthday Cake on the menu, of all things, and since this was my birthday trip I got it. It was a triple layer cake with icing, sprinkles and whipped cream and it was free if it was your birthday. It was a lovely dense, moist cake with plenty of rich, tasty icing between the layer and around the edge. I’m not a sprinkles fan but they did make it festive. It was delicious and a perfect end to a wonderful homestyle meal.