Dishin’: Meet Olivar’s Meatballs

Seattlest already gave you the scoop on the opening of Olivar. So what about the food?

Chef Philippe Thomelin chatted with us while preparing some of his favorite dishes. We discussed how the Tortilla Española (potato omelet with caramelized onion) is a gauge of his skills, much like tamagoyaki is a test of a sushi chef’s skills. Tamagoyaki isn’t fish, but if the chef can’t master it, many will walk out, giving the chef a vote of no confidence.

Thomelin’s egg dish was quite good. We stayed—and were glad we did. Had we walked away, we would have missed out on the Albóndigas de Cordero. With lamb burgers all the rage at restaurants around town, these bun-less beauties are a refreshing change: meatballs of ground lamb, parsley, garlic, sea salt and lemon, served with green tomato chutney, sautéed eggplant, and Marcona almonds. Succulent. Order the dish and you’ll get three that are twice the size of those pictured.

And those pictures murals on the walls? They date back to the 1930s, when Russian Samovar restaurant opened in the same location. (Russian Samovar had a great run, but the location’s been jinxed recently, with lots of turnover.) Thomelin’s proud to display the hand-painted murals, and dedicates menu space to tell you more about them. Check out the murals, check out the meatballs (and more), and give a little love to this charming new bistro in the Loveless Building.

Cross-posted on Seattlest, where “we” = me.

Olivar on Urbanspoon



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