Olio Richmond Review & Foodie Meet Up
Where to start? There are so many things you want to say right off the bat in case people only read one paragraph, so here goes: The owner, Jason, is outstanding. The food is all fresh - everything is made in house - breads, pizza dough, all the meals (what isn't made in house is imported directly from country of origin.) And it was great to meet so many of the food bloggers thanks to Jason Guard at RVA Foodie.
Let's start with Olio. Jason Savedoff was meant to run a restaurant.
He is knowledgeable about every aspect of his shop - from what kind of beers and wine to pair with food to listening to your likes and making recommendations on cheeses and meats. And the great thing about Olio is that the wine and beer is served at retail price, not at a restaurant mark up. That means the Super Tuscan that would set you back $60 across the street is only $14. And the Scotch, Czech even New Zealand beers you'd pay $6 a bottle for go for under $2.00 whether you drink them there or get them to go.
We wanted to try an assortment of the food - so we started with "the Parma" -prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, roasted tomatoes, dolce gorgonzola, assorted olives & grilled breads, drizzled with balsamic.
We opted for extra roasted tomatoes since the only olives I like are the ones swimming in vodka. We also got a side of olive oil for the grilled bread. The platter was great. Perfect for splitting with a bottle of wine.
When Jason told me they made their pizza dough fresh in house, I had to try it. We split the "Meat Monster". This isn't your meat lovers from the Hut. This is loaded with Italian meats like mortadella, salami and capacolla - with red onions, red peppers and a vodka sauce.
Wow, was this good. The Wife said it was a little salty...Um, it's LOADED with Italian meats - yeah it's salty! This pizza and a bottle of red = a perfect (and very affordable) date night. The crust was thin and crispy, there was an abundance of toppings (a good meat to cheese to sauce to crust ratio...if you can follow that.)
Jason also informed us they do wine dinners each month for, get this, $30 a person all inclusive. You can't beat that with a stick.
The market also stocks hard to find culinary items like black truffles, Double 0 flour (imported from Italy) and Conch. I couldn't believe they had conch - They Wife and I have a recipe for conch fritters from Louie's Backyard in Key West we've been wanting to replicate, and now I know where to get them.
Olio is a trued gem in the Fan. You can't beat the quality of their ingredients in their cooking, their wine/beer prices or their selection of meats and cheeses.
Now, on to the bloggers. The Wife and I had a great time talking to The Marinara, Brittany, Whine Me Dine Me, fellow not-downtowner Richmond Food for Thought, Richmond Dish and Impolitic Eye.
There were so many others that we only got to say hi to for a minute or two and would have loved more time - more on that at the bottom.
One of the interesting things was getting foodies perspectives on the best restaurants in Richmond. Several that everyone mentioned were Sensi, Coast and Chicken Fiesta (but having never been ourselves, we were warned: only get the chicken.)
Again, a huge thank you to Jason Guard for organizing this event. The Wife and I are kicking around the idea of a Food Blogger Pot Luck when the weather improves. Perhaps
at a local park somewhere everyone can bring the family, your favorite/best dish and a bottle of... What do you think?