Olive’s Redeems Itself

A couple of months ago, DH and I decided to try Olive’s Restaurant and Bar with a Groupon. While the food was excellent, the service was terrible. No water, long stretches of time in between seeing our waiter, and it was 45 minutes from the time he took our credit card and the time we got it back. No apologies, no nothing.

I emailed the manager later and asked if there was something wrong that night, and he explained that there had been a power outage and that their systems were down. (I might have mentioned at this point that I was a food blogger). He apologized and said he would be happy to buy us dessert the next time we came in.

With my busy travel schedule, a couple of months passed before it occurred to me to try Olive’s again. So I went to restaurant.com and bought a gift certificate.

DH was happy to see local craft brews on tap; however, there was only one Michigan wine available – L  Mawby US. I decided to go ahead and buy a bottle just for the principle of the thing. It was excellent, as are most Michigan wines 😉

We went at 5 PM on a Saturday, before the rush, and I have to say the service was much better. Lots of people greeted us, the waitress brought us water right away, and was very attentive throughout the service.

DH started with Yellowfin Tuna | 10: Seared rare. orange miso sauce, spicy cucumber quick pickle, edamame & quinoa salad. It was a very balanced plate and the pickle went well with the tuna.

I decided to go for the Mushroom Crostinin | 10: Sauteed wild mushrooms, toasted baguette, herb goat cheese, scallion oil, Demi since I’m a huge mushroom fan and I had had this dish the last time we went to Olive’s. It did not disappoint, and I was in goat cheese and rich mushroom heaven. The sparkling Mawby helped cut the richness, so I recommend this pairing.

I decided to go with a bowl of the soup of the day, which was potato with ham and bacon ($5). Oh my word, talk about heaven in a bowl!

DH decided to order Olive’s Mac ‘n Cheese | 11: Elbow noodles, sharp cheddar, monterey jack, dill Havarti, scallions which I had ordered last time we were there; it was still good. The Mawby helped cleanse the palate for both this and the soup.

Then, since it was research for my blog after all, we decided to get dessert. We couldn’t choose between the Devil’s food cake layered with chocolate ganache, white peppermint frosting & candy cane brittle:

and the Cinnamon bun bread pudding …with hot vanilla bean glaze & vanilla ice cream, so we got both. “You can always box it up,” advised our waitress.

Unfortunately we ate. it. all. Ugh. So we were feeling uncomfortably full when the bill came – which, even with the restaurant.com coupon, was a bit of a shock. However, we felt it was worth the price. The food was excellent and beautifully plated and the service was wonderful. I never did ask for my free dessert but there’s always next time.

Olives Restaurant on Urbanspoon


  1. We had terrible service as well. Unfortunately in our case a free dessert did/does not make up for the hassle we had to go through. Management was willing to help but on their terms not mine. I will not be eating there again which unfortunate cause the food is fantastic!

  2. I don’t know if we’re just picky or what, but service is usually our primary complaint with restaurants these days. Don’t you hate it when the good is awesome but you can’t stand the thought of going there?

  3. I don’t know what the other guy in Michigan named Kevin Elzinga is talking about. Perhaps he is from Grand Rapids? I have always enjoyed my visits to Olive Garden. I would just like to clarify that Kevin Elzinga from Kalamazoo is OK with Olive Garden.