Golden Olive

A couple weeks back, we ran a piece by Rory extolling Golden Olive, the Greek restaurant on 45th (1712 N 45th St). Despite having lived in this neighborhood for close to two decades, we’d never been, so we decided to check it out. We considered it a good sign that when we Twittered that we were going, three Wallyhood readers (@aviel, @jonLiechty and @bitterbiscuit) all sent tweets back immediately applauding our choice.

The short report: excellent food, well worth the trip and just the friendliest service we’ve had in a long time.

Baby Z was asleep in the stroller when we arrived, and the restaurant is small, but we managed to find a table in the back by the kitchen where we could tuck him against a wall and out of the way. The proprietress was just the sweetest, most friendly woman, in that way that genuinely happy people have of being open and jokey, not in the way professional waitresses have who know they can jack up their tips by being friendly. Even her chef daughter, working from the kitchen, poked her head out with a smile to see how we liked the food.

We started with the Saganaki (imported Kefalotiri cheese grilled, then flamed with brandy and finished with lemon served with pita, photo above), which was rich and tasty (although maybe a hair saltier than my palate would have preferred), which a meaty chewiness to it. Mr. Wallyhood had the Dolmades (grape leaves stuffed with ground beef, rice and mint), and found it tasty, but not great. The glazed organic carrots on the side, though were crisp and sweet, the highlight of the dish.

Mrs. Wallyhood had the Pastitsio (large macaroni tossed in butter and parmesan, then layered wth meat sauce and topped with bechamel), which was rich, complex and tasty, perfectly seasoned and balanced. The noodles melted in the mouth, which I would have thought was “mushy” but given the gestalt of the dish, just felt buttery good. The side of broccoli was perfected steamed, with a not-at-all skimpy butter sauce.

We finished with the galactoboureiko (a rich farina custard wth a hint of orange, betwen layers of buttered phyllo, topped with honey-lemon syrup and cinnamon), which was absolute creamy, sweet and savory heaven (although it was rich enough that we were glad we split it).

We’re not prawn fans, but BitterBiscuit suggests they’re great. Baby Z woke up towards the end of the main course and enjoyed his fair share of both the main courses. We think he preferred the pastitsio, as well.

PS Food photographers, we’re not.

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