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Olive or Twist, Robert Nava’s New Place

Olive or Twist, Robert Nava’s New Place
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  • Olive or Twist, Robert Nava’s New Place

    Post #1 - February 16th, 2011, 1:40 pm
    Post #1 - February 16th, 2011, 1:40 pm Post #1 - February 16th, 2011, 1:40 pm
    Olive or Twist, Robert Nava’s New Place

    Olive or Twist is a bar in Berwyn that’s been around for five years or so.

    Recently, Robert Nava, the man behind LTH-love-recipient Depot American Diner, opened up a restaurant in an adjoining space now connected with the bar. In what is probably an unintentional theme of Nava’s, OT is located right across the street from the Berwyn depot.

    Went last night and had several Old Fashioneds, expertly made by Chuck, a genial and accomplished mixologist, who doesn’t skip steps or miss a conversational beat.

    At OT, Nava’s going for something a little more sophisticated than he attempted at DAD.

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    We were sucker punched right out of the gate with this prawn starter: wrapped in fine potato filaments (some of them seeming to mimic crustacean antennae – love it!), the little guys rest in a mustard-lemon sauce with spinach and slivers of artichoke. This is a fabulous dish, not overworked yet finely wrought, beautiful to look at, brilliant colors and a concerto of flavors that play well together and provide textures of soft yet firm seafood meat, crisp potato, leafy greens. Clearly, OT is giving Nava the green light to flex his fine-dining muscles, which he had to restrain for the past five years or so at DAD.

    Sitting at the bar, I spotted Nava headed out to close up at DAD and corralled him for what turned out to be a very pleasant discussion of the importance of simplicity in cooking, European v. American food treatments, the cool food themes in “Good Fellas,” and a lot of other stuff of mutual interest. I’ve always liked this guy and last night confirmed those good vibes. He still remembers how, when he was first starting out, he got a lot of immediate positive attention from LTHForum.

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    We also had the jerk chicken wings, which were meaty though not nearly so pyrotechnic as the prawns, and a pork chop on cheese grits, with good smoke flavor.

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    My dining buddy and I enjoyed a classic iceberg lettuce wedge, which I think taps into Nava’s regard for non-fancypants American foods. He didn’t mess much at all with the traditional elements of this dish, just as he tries to accurately represent the simple dishes on the DAD menu: pot roast sandwich, BLT, etc.

    Olive or Twist is evolving from martini bar to martini-bar–with-restaurant-attached. If you go, I’d recommend doing as we did: sit at the bar, chat with Chuck, eat at the bar, go home happy.

    Olive or Twist
    6906 Windsor Ave
    Berwyn, IL 60402-3334
    (708) 484-1808
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #2 - February 16th, 2011, 2:02 pm
    Post #2 - February 16th, 2011, 2:02 pm Post #2 - February 16th, 2011, 2:02 pm
    Veeeerrrrrrrry interesting! Thanks for the report.
    i used to milk cows
  • Post #3 - February 17th, 2011, 10:28 am
    Post #3 - February 17th, 2011, 10:28 am Post #3 - February 17th, 2011, 10:28 am
    We went last night. I enjoyed the shrimp appetizer so much, I ordered it as my entree. Great spot, Robert has done a wonderful job laying the space out. Well worth the trip to Berwyn.
  • Post #4 - February 17th, 2011, 11:09 am
    Post #4 - February 17th, 2011, 11:09 am Post #4 - February 17th, 2011, 11:09 am
    HI,

    In the last several months, iceberg lettuce wedge salads seem to be popping up after a long absence.

    Mom2's husband was a travelling salesman from the 30's until the 80's with a wee interruption for WW2. He ordered iceberg wedge salads to guarantee his salad was fresh. Everything else could have been made long before and might arrive slightly wilted. An iceberg wedge was either fresh or it was not.

    Olive or Twist, is it open for lunch?

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #5 - February 17th, 2011, 3:05 pm
    Post #5 - February 17th, 2011, 3:05 pm Post #5 - February 17th, 2011, 3:05 pm
    Open 11AM - 10PM. Closed Sunday and Monday.
  • Post #6 - February 19th, 2011, 1:58 pm
    Post #6 - February 19th, 2011, 1:58 pm Post #6 - February 19th, 2011, 1:58 pm
    The wife and I made our first visit on Thursday. We opted for the same prawn appetizer that David pictured above, and it was every bit as good as his description. My wife opted for the petite fillet, I believe, with asparagus and garlic mashed potatoes, and I had the grilled tuna steak with black forbidden rice and mango salsa. Everything was cooked as desired, and I quite liked the forbidden rice, which brought a nice little kick to the dish.

    Prices are a little higher than I might have expected (1 app, 2 entrees, 2 $7 glasses of malbec, and 2 desserts came to $90 pre-tip) so we probably won't be visiting as often as we do the Depot, but it is indeed one that we will return to within the next couple of months.

    Oh, and seebee: the white chocolate bread pudding might be even better than the bread putting at the Depot. My wife liked it enough that we had to get a second order, as splitting one just wasn't going to cut it.


    EDIT: It occurred to me that I should have mentioned that while the options my wife and I chose on Thursday worked out to a slightly pricier meal than I might have expected, there are numerous options on the menu at lower price points. From a Monte Cristo sandwich at $8 (iirc) that really calls out to me, to other entrees about halfway between there and the ~$25 price point our entrees hit.
  • Post #7 - February 21st, 2011, 12:58 pm
    Post #7 - February 21st, 2011, 12:58 pm Post #7 - February 21st, 2011, 12:58 pm
    We went to this place over the weekend, surprisingly place is awesome... loved shrimp at this place. I would recommend you to at least make an effort to go there and trust me you will always want to go there afterward..
  • Post #8 - May 29th, 2011, 7:59 am
    Post #8 - May 29th, 2011, 7:59 am Post #8 - May 29th, 2011, 7:59 am
    Finally made the trip South of the Border (Roosevelt Road) to Olive or Twist last night. It's a pleasant place to have a drink and have dinner. Room is nice but it was 3/4 empty on a Saturday night. The wine list is lousy, the beer list is pretty good (and cheap!).

    The food was kind of a mixed bag. I couple of high points were the aforementioned shrimp appetizer, the wedge salad, smoked pork chop, and white chocolate bread pudding (outstanding).

    Shrimp bisque was home made and very mild. Manicotti/Cannelloni filled with ricotta and topped with shrimp and a diavolo sauce was OK, not great. Chocolate lava cake had no lava - a cardinal sin. Bread was pretty bad.

    Price for two, three courses including drinks, tax, tip, will run $90-$100.

    I would recommend if you are in the area, but not a destination. It would be a good place to just have a few drinks.
    i used to milk cows

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