The Costa Rica Restaurant Review

L'Olivo - Restaurant Review

mnsrconnoisseur | 30 April, 2009 23:34

L'Olivo is an Italian restaurant located in Sabana Norte.

According to reports, Dominick Curra, formerly an accountant for John Gotti, lived right behind L'Olivo at the time he was arrested in Costa Rica in 2002.

The occasion for my visit to L'Olivo was a business lunch, with a party of seven people in total.  We arrived in the early afternoon on a Thursday, and the restaurant, though not crowded, did not seem to be suffering from a lack of business.  There were a number of full tables, which I was surprised to see on a weekday lunch-time, given the current economic situation.  The restaurant business is always one of the first things to suffer when disposable income contracts.  L'Olivo has an excellent reputation, however, and still seems to be thriving.

Upon placing our order, we were served with the customary bread plates.  Instead of using butter I tried out the olive oil that was on the table, which, by the flavor, was a reasonable quality extra virgin.  So far so good.  For an appetizer we shared the Antipasto Italiano, which is a mix of cold cuts, cheeses, marinated vegetables, and green olives.  It was a good combination -- the egg plant and marinated sun dried tomatoes were especially nice.  The waitress was polite and kept my glass of bottled water filled.

For the main course I enjoyed a bowl of octopus and squid with potatoes thoroughly covered with tomato sauce, which was served with a couple more slices of bread.  I spooned on a healthy quantity of authentic, freshly grated parmesan cheese (as opposed to the pre-grated/bottled junk that many lesser quality restaurants put in front of their customers) from the bowls of same that accompanied the meal.

One of my colleagues picked up the tab for the meal, so I don't know what it cost us after all was said and done.  From the menu, however, it appears that one could easily have a satisfying and well-prepared meal for between $15 and $20.  My only complaint was the serving sizes.  Those that read my reviews regularly know that I like to eat and can put away my share of food.  The appetizer was great and allowed all 7 of us to have a little something to get our appetites stimulated.  But the quantity of food for my main course left a little something to be desired.  Fortuately it worked out well because I wasn't famished to begin with.

My colleagues seemed very satisfied with what they ordered.  I didn't pay particularly close attention, but I recall that a couple of them ordered ravioli, and another ordered spaghetti.  The pasta dishes did seem to have a reasonable quantity of food.
I have been to a number of Italian restaurants in Costa Rica, most of which I have not reviewed on this blog (because I visited the restaurants prior to starting the blog, and I prefer to review a restaurant very shortly after visiting it so as to keep my accounts as accurate as possible).  L'Olivo definitely ranks among the very best -- perhaps even the best for the money.


Note:  L'Olivo is located 300 meters north of the ICE building in Sabana Norte.  Call them for reservations at 2232-9440.
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