Friendly staff and a distinctive menu.
Olio doesn't shoehorn easily into a pre-defined genre of cuisine. It's generally Italian with nods towards mexican, middle-eastern, seafood, and American (traditional) foods.
The Olio martini - a dirty martini with a Gorgonzola stuffed olive - is good, but it's a vodka martini. They'll happily serve gin, but the selection is pretty bland.
Their salads are huge. I asked them to make me a side salad version of their field greens, walnuts, mandarins, blue cheese and cranberries salad, and it was still huge. And served with a side of bread, to boot.
The ravioli with cream pesto sauce was good, but not great. I couldn't tell if it was fresh or frozen, but it was cooked a bit too long.
On the upside, the waitress brought three different taster glasses of wine to help narrow my selections. After immediately excluding the red zinfandel - it smelled like floor cleaner - I was left between their full-bodied new Chilean and a familiar dry Italian Chianti. The waitress was very helpful for making wine selections, which is a rarity.
Dessert was peach sorbet, served inside a frozen peach. If I didn't know these were also made this way (and probably imported) in Italy, I'd have been impressed. Espresso was mediocre, lacking a good crema but served with an odd little lemon rind.
The ambiance was romantic, but not overbearingly. The owners apparently thought tea lights would be a good thing for their restaurant, and there are lots of those around. The only artwork, such as it was, was individual panels each bearing a letter in the name of the restaurant.
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