Arizona Restaurant Week stop number two: Olive & Ivy

With the great deals Arizona Restaurant Week has to offer, you just have to take advantage. My second stop this week (the first was at Blanco Tacos + Tequila) was at another Fox restaurant: Olive & Ivy in Scottsdale. This was my second time dining there and my third time there altogether (the other visit, I had cocktails.)

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I have to say, when I went 2 years ago, I was very unimpressed with the eatery. I felt like it was overpriced for the small portions served and way too dark. You might think that’s romantic, but judging by how loud it gets, it was a weird dynamic for me.

This dining experience was far better (despite our server taking more than 10 minutes to greet us.) He made up for it by suggesting items on the menu and being diligent the rest of the night, and the atmosphere was a little more relaxed than I remember. What stands out most to me about the decor is the sprawling wine bottle display that goes up to the ceiling. I also like the pretty hanging lights and big bar that greets you as soon as you walk in. (Say hi to my friend Cori if you go to the bar.)

For my first course of the $29 meal (which included a glass of red wine), I had the hummus and pita bread. I wasn’t a huge fan of the pickled onion on top of the hummus, but the hummus itself was good. The pita bread was a little dry, but it was nice to have a healthy option for a starter, and overall, I enjoyed it.

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For my second course, I had handmade pasta, and instead of the veal ragu, I got a butter parmesan sauce to make it vegetarian. The sauce was so, so good, and you should request it, too, especially since veal is such a horribly cultivated meat.

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For dessert, I had a coffee creme brulee with hazlenut biscotti. I really liked the taste of it, and it was so creamy, but I found it sort of odd that our table sampled all three desserts, and they all came out in perfect circle shapes. It made me think they were all pre-made, and that was a turn-off.

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Overall, though, I was very satisfied with the meal. Olive & Ivy can get pretty pricey for average-quality food, so I would go there this week to try it out before spending more moolah in the future.

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