The Black Olive.
Recently my wife and son and I wanted to enjoy a relaxing meal in downtown Baltimore. We choose The Black Olive because we enjoy eating ethnic food. We where greeted by the hostess who sat us in the very back of the restaurant. At first we really did not think much about it, but as it turns out because of our son we felt as if we had to be seated at the back of the restaurant so we do not disturb some of the other patrons. Some of the clientele did not appreciate our sons' occasional whining. Our son was feeling a little under the weather, but he was by no means loud. The staff at The Black Olive where very professional, but I think they should have handled us have a child with more respect. As for the tall gentleman in the Maryland Terps hoodie, "No disrespect, but how rude are you to complain to the restaurant staff about our 20 month old son."
Also there was one other couple whom he adviced to move away from us to another table if they intended to have a pleasant meal.u
If you have children please think twice before going to The Black Olive, as some patrons find you having children there a Nuisance.
Great for sodium addicts, but not for me.
My wife and I went there for lunch. For $20 plus tip I got three smallish lamb chops and a handful of (pretty good) slaw and (pretty good) bread. The problem is that the lamb chops were so grossly over-salted I should have known better than to eat them, but we had been there a over a half hour when they arrived and we had a plane to catch. Service was pretty slow. I don't enjoy having to be confrontational about the food I am served. But I did mention it to the owner (??) when we ran into him in the elevator and he asked how we liked our meals. When I reported, he shrugged it off and said "drink plenty of water." No apology in any form. So here I am stuck with an unpleasant nagging thirst and constantly salivating mouth and trying to flush out sodium poisoning with so much water that I have to pee every five minutes while flying from Baltimore to Texas -- not good!
A good chef prepares food that is rich in flavor without using extreme salting as a sleazy cheap crutch. That crutch is typical of fast food and cheap mass produced packaged meals. The salt on the chops I was served exceeded even the crappiest of fast food -- at least as far as I have experienced. I don't eat much fast food.
Salt addicts are free to use a salt shaker if salt levels are too subtle for their taste.
We won't be back in any case. If you are the kind of person who puts tablespoons of salt on your food before even tasting it you should love this place, otherwise you have been warned.
Delicious food & great space. Somehow the owners of this wonderful Greek restaurant manage to maintain a warm and welcoming air despite the sophistication of the food and the crowds that flock to this restaurant. Every dish I've tried has been fresh and seasoned in a unique way; the staff are friendly and warm; the food even feels healthy to eat because of the organic produce that goes into every dish, and the owners clear love for bringing the diners the highest quality fish. Don't skip dessert...the carrot cake is my favorite!
We went to this restaurant during Restaurant Week. I had heard great things about the restaurant and was looking forward to the experience. We went during Restaurant Week because I thought they would be at their best. The wait service was very good. The bread was very good. 2 olives were served with the bread -- I am not sure why they only serve one olive per patron but it was odd.
My husband had the Seafood Salad which was really nice. It was well flavored and had plenty of seafood. I opted for the 'traditional Greek spreads (Tzatziki, Tarama, Melitzanasalata, Humus). It was very flavorable but they only served 3 pieces of cucumbers and nothing else to spread the spread on. Luckily there was some bread left.
The second course was lamb baked in parchment which was very flavorful. I opted for a spinach pie in a fila crust. It was actually presented in a regular pie crust and was burned. If I had made this dish at home I wouldn't have served it to family or guests because it lacked flavor and the burned crust permeated the dish.
The baklava was dry and could have used more honey.
Nothing to write home about.... Nothing to write home about. Not sure why everyone raves about this place...mediocre at best. Nice atmosphere inside. Quaint Fells location.
Disappointment. I attended college in Philadelphia and then worked in New York so when it comes to food culture and fine dining I know my restaurants. I have been living in Baltimore for about a year now and go out regularly to the town's cream of the crop places to eat... I am a fan of Tony Foreman and Cindy Wolf's places due to the tremendous wine lists and the always perfectly executed food and of course Baltimore fine dining would not be complete without Spike Gjerde's Woodberry Kitchen and even the little known hot spot The Wine Market, all places deliver astounding cuisine and of course expert and friendly service with a crowd and an atmosphere that make the experience truly memorable, however The Black Olive is probably the worst place I have ever been too. The remarkable setting and the quaint dining rooms make for a wonderful first impression, and the fresh fish and produce set up, of course, adds to the first remarks. On the other hand, the service is less then accommodating and the assistance and the overall interaction is quite stale. The wine list is lacking in serious luster and shows no signs of being on Food and Wine's top ratings for the last 6 years, the staff is also pretty terrible at assisting in selections. The fish is mostly over-cooked to the point of being pretty awful and although I will never be able to eat a Dover Sole again in my life I am fine with that I would rather go to Kali's Court and order a properly filleted Bronzini with a wine list and an experience to put the Black Olive next to Wendy's on York Road. In conclusion, overpriced (coming from a guy who loves lavish food), out-dated and sincerely out-classed by more then 4 restaurants in walking distance. Save yourself a waist of money and spend it on a place that delivers great food, not an out-dated and pretentious place living off of its reputation.
Overcooked seafood. Pretty restaurant, but someone does not cook very well. All of the seafood was fresh but the fish and calamari were overcooked (not enough to send back but on the verge of dry and rubbery). The sauce for the fish was nice. Scallops were good. The olive bread pudding was nice but hardly exceptional. There were a lot of servers. All were attentive and pleasant although neither of the two who served the fish could debone it correctly and a lot of fish was removed with the head. Stop the pretension. If you like atmosphere more than food this is your place.
HANDS DOWN GREAT RESTAURANT-You have to go!. If you are looking for amazingly fresh, high quality, ORGANIC, yes ORGANIC food-this is the place for you. It is obvious that when you are dining on such cuisine, you expect to pay the price, but it is worth it.!!!An array of fresh fish daily with tableside fillet adds such a great touch. The atmosphere fits the mold-in historic fells point, valet parking, and and inside that allows for a great celebration or romantic evening get away. The owners are over the top and always allow for a feeling of the comfort of your own home. Being from Baltimore, there are hundreds of restaurants to choose from for seafood, high quality, price , etc. However, when given the choice, this is the ONLY place to go where you will hands down be satisfied with a great meal, quaint environment, and an unforgettable experience!!! DON'T MISS OUT :-)
Fresh! Wonderful!. Some friends and I were visiting from New York recently and I could not wait another minute to relay our wonderful experience at the Black Olive in Baltimore. Being from out of town we took a recommendation from some local friends, and I must say it was the highlight of our trip. Not only did we tour the wine cellar, we were also able to view the fresh Bronzini flown in that day (the Mediterranean sea bass made a very delicate and flaky meal that delighted the palette). Our service was excellent and professional. We simply cannot say enough good things about this restaurant! Our joke all evening that we had to come to the Chesapeake Bay to finally have real Mediterranean meal!
Serious Seafood Served Well.
The Black Olive is a serious Mediteranean (Greek) seafood place located in two row homes in Fells Point. The atmosphere is quaint and has a bit of a mediteranean feel in it's simplicity. If you dine as a couple try to get the window seat in the room with the bar. Service is very good but the seafood is what it is all about.
You get a tour of the fresh fish displayed on ice with a knowledgeable introduction to the characteristics of each choice. The fish are deboned at the table and served with a simple lemon and olive oil sauce. The Black Olive is our favorite place for seafood when it is the seafood you really want to enjoy.
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