Seattle >Anchovies & Olives
This modern room in the heart of the Hill serves up gifts from the sea including a killer scallop crudo and grilled octopus. The fried chick peas and $1 oysters//$6 bubbles Sunday - Thursday 5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. to close seal the deal.
I have been a fan of this place since it opened. Always the freshest seafood on Capitol Hill - and rivals any stalwart seafood joint in the city. The open kitchen provides your entertainment for the night. Don't disregard the homemade pastas and if geoduck is on the menu, order it! Also, make sure to check out Oyster Power Hour: $1 oysters, $2 Peronis and $5 bubbly Sun-Thurs, 5-6p.
While the food at A &O may be to die for, I will never know since our "server"/bartender never really gave us the opportunity to try anythinhg other than bread and olives! We arrived early for our 8 PM reservations, waited at the bar for 45 minutes to get seated, ordered IMMEDIATELY b/c we were starving and got up and walked out at 9 when no food had arrived at our table, no one checked in to see if we were OK, to apologize for the wait-nothing. In addition to that, they were out of a few menu items, including one we had hoped for...
Why is the bartender waiting tables on a Saturday night? She's making drinks, coffee, serving patrons at the bar, blah, blah blah. I will not return to this restaurant and will be ever so cautious about trying any of the venues in the Ethan Stowell group. There are too many other interesting places in the city to try that are very happy to have my $$$ in exchange for actual food!
Seasonal Seafood Restaurant.
I am honestly hesitant to give A&O three stars. Upon three visits in the past 6 months, both the food and service were inconsistent. I am a fan of Ethan Stowell's work, however A&O doesn't seem to shine quite as bright as his other restaurants. That being said, there are few things they do well. The sea urchin pasta, which I unfortunately missed was speculated to be one of the best dishes in Seattle this summer. My experience with their pasta dishes is that they are bland. Honestly, I could make something better at home. On a recent visit however several dishes were fantastic including the soft cooked egg topped with anchovies, fresh octopus served with roasted potatoes and a basil pesto. The flavors in both dishes were bright and well layered. The "Crudo" is your best bet at A&O, especially the hamachi, accompaniments vary depending on what's in season. Food is served family style, although in my opinion the portions are not on the generous side.
One of the best times to go to A&O is during their power hour aka happy hour. They have an early and a late night one, during which oysters are a mere $1 a piece. Drinks are also heavily discounted, wine $3 per glass and $2 Pieroni's. The serve a house "fish & chips" for $8, the fish changes depending on what they have in house, one night it was whole sardines, the next time artic char belly. The chips are more like a waffle potato chip, very thinly sliced. Be a bit adventurous with their take on fish and chips.
During several visits, I was completely unimpressed with their level of service. Water glasses left unfilled, unfriendly servers and lack of knowledge about oysters on special etc. Service is equally important as the food for the experience. I would like to think these were off nights for them recently as I really do hope in the future I can love this restaurant as much as others do.
Great place for my last meal of the decade!.
We came here for a special prix fixe New Years Eve dinner. They had three seatings for dinner, and we were in the second one.
There were five courses, beginning with oysters. The remaining four courses had two choices each. I believe it was a crudo, a pasta, a fish, and desert. Among the three of us, we ordered one of everything, so got to taste it all.
The oysters were dusted with pollen, and finished with an ice/granita. They were a kind of oyster I've never tasted before, and I should have written down what type they were. They were a bit bottom of the oceany/fishy for my taste, and I missed having a bit of acid.
Second course was the crudo, which was incredibly delicious. One of the fishes was paired with blood orange, the other with paper thin slices of persimmon. Both were beautifully balanced.
Third course was a choice between a squash risotto and squid ink pasta. The pasta was delicious, sprinkled with garlic bread crumbs, and studded with some of the tastiest, best prepared mussels I've ever had. Not one bit chewy. The risotto was also very tasty, and well cooked. I've been despairing of the trend toward al dente rice in risotto lately... none of that here. Tender and creamy, with lots of flavor.
By this point, I was stuffed, so was unable to do the fish course justice. Cod with something or other and preserved lemons, and arctic char with trumpet mushrooms. Both well-cooked, with a nice crisp coating from the pan.
Deserts were shockingly good. A chocolate ganache -type cake with orange ice cream, or a almond cake with cranberry and creme fraiche. Neither one too sweet, but both delicious. I wouldn't leave here without getting a desert.
Now on to the service: I'm not sure if this was just because we were at a prix fixe dinner, which they don't usually do, but things were a bit off. I noticed the table next to me getting their first course before the bread, and otherwise dishes not being delivered at the right times. Our server, while knowledgeable and charming, often seemed distracted and unavailable. I also watched an interaction between a diner and the hostess... the diner asked if there was a place she could store her wet umbrella, and the hostess just said no. No offer to find a home for it, or suggestions for where to store it during her meal. Later it was in the way of the server. This is Seattle for chrissake. Figure out umbrella storage!
All in all, delicious seafood, and a luxurious dining experience.
Delicious place to eat!. I had a very romantic and quite dinner at Anchovies&Olives Restaurant a week ago and I have to say ..one of the best...excelent atmosphere, service and quality of food. I would definitely recommended you to try !!!!
Citysearch Editorial Review. For an innovative Italian take on seafood--geoduck gnocchi, squid ink risotto--head to this simple Capitol Hill restaurant.
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