I recently blogged about the new happy hour at Oliverio restaurant at the Avalon Hotel, and now that I’ve actually tried it, I can honestly say that it’s one of my new favorites. Every dish that I tried was excellent, and the cocktail I had was nice, too.
As you may remember, Oliverio’s Salute! extended happy hour is on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., with everything on the bar/poolside and cocktail menus half-off. (If you ask nicely, you can get these prices on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., too.) For a top price of $11, Chef Mirko Paderno offers an amazing menu in taste and value.
Let’s get to the food and drink, shall we?
I started out with a Lombardia cocktail made with bourbon, apple, cinnamon and orange ($7 at happy hour). The apple, orange and cinnamon made this a comforting drink, and well let’s be honest, so did the bourbon. It bordered on being too sweet for my taste, but I still enjoyed it. On a previous visit, when the space was Blue on Blue, I had the Elixir made with cucumber-dill infused vodka, sweetened lime and white cranberry, which I also liked. I’m a sucker for cucumber in my cocktails.
As for the food — man, it was tasty! My favorite dishes were the tuna tartare served on risotto cakes (these were actually the dinner menu version; the $7.50 happy hour version comes without rice cakes), and the goat cheese pizzetta topped with shaved truffles ($11 at happy hour). The tuna was “Mmmm, that’s good!” and the pizzetta was “OMG, that’s GOOD!” I think those are technical terms.
The gnocco fritto was also very good — a piece of deep fried pizza dough topped with a slice of sopressata salami and pecorino cheese ($4 at happy hour). And the prosciutto, parmesan and arugula pizzetta ($8 at happy hour), as well as the grilled octopus, lentils and tomato ($7 at happy hour), were also nice.
Besides the amazing food and drink, the ambiance at Oliverio inside and out is nothing to sneeze at, either. Inside the restaurant is decked out in contemporary decor, like something out of a Domino magazine spread. You can also sit poolside, where the intimate setting creates one of the best urban oases I’ve experienced — it’s perfect for summer.