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Olea - 34 Reviews - 171 Lafayette Ave, Brooklyn, NY - Local Favorite Reviews - Phone (718) 643-7003


171 Lafayette Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11238
(718) 643-7003
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Olea - Brooklyn, NY
Olea - Brooklyn, NY
Olea - Brooklyn, NY
Olea - Brooklyn, NY


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I was looking for a nice local place to take some friends on a Saturday night, casual but a bit off the beaten path menu-wise. This place overdelivered! We got a table immediate...


This unassuming gem serves my favourite style: Mediterranean food! The pitas and dipping choices with hummus, tzaziki were delicious as were the many tapas offerings: spiced almon...

skip olea 7/18/2010

On Sunday 4/July I made my way over to Olea. I noticed a couple sitting on a bench on the Alelphi side of the restaurate as I approched. I assumed that they were clients. I plunked myself at the bar (no greeting) and waited twenty minutes for service. One of the two people I noticed sitting on the bench before entering turned out to be the bartender.\r \r She appeared after the aforementioned twenty minutes and advised me that ""someone was technically sitting in the area."" Weird. Someone had a book on the bar and a half-filled drink in the place, but I wasn't sitting there. Then she asked me (literally) ""what are you hoping to do?"" I replied that I ""was hoping to get something to eat and drink."" She thereby gave me a menu and a glass of water and disappeard for another 20 minutes. I left. No sale. Bizarre vibes. Cons: no service more

Fashionable Brunch 7/3/2010

OLEA is a great place to go to to catch up with a friend in a trendy spot, yet unpretentious environment almost feeling like you're in your own home kitchen. The staff is so pleasant and attentive which is becoming a lost are in dining in the New York Metropolitan area. The Fort Greene neighborhood has been going through and still is under the longest gentrification periods, however, I believe OLEA with its Mediterranean influenced cuisine and stellar delish omelettes will stay on the scene no matter how much ""change"" occurs. Must have: Freshly made chocolate croissants----yum yum yum YUM! Caution: will have to do an extra mile on the treadmill as food is very rich :) enjoy bon appetite, Pros: Great omelettes options Cons: Prepare your pallette Food is very RICH more

Best meal in ages 2/9/2009

I was looking for a nice local place to take some friends on a Saturday night, casual but a bit off the beaten path menu-wise. This place overdelivered! We got a table immediately, had attentive service, and the food....drooling. Sorry. \r \r The food was excellent. It was so good that after we'd all finished the entrees (which came after multiple tapas), we wanted MORE tapas (b/c everything else was so delicious, not due to small portions or anything). The atmosphere is eclectic, which I appreciate. It didn't really feel like New York, which was a nice change of pace from all the Smith Street staples.\r \r Olea is worth checking out. I'll be back. Pros: neighborhood, atmosphere, food, sangria! more

Delicious, Casual and Fun! 10/14/2008

This unassuming gem serves my favourite style: Mediterranean food! The pitas and dipping choices with hummus, tzaziki were delicious as were the many tapas offerings: spiced almonds, olives, artichoke hearts and patatas bravas-fried potatoes (I'm drooling now). For the entree, I ordered the appetizer sized organic whole wheat pasta with roasted vegetables parmigiano reggiano and feta cheeses; it tasted wonderful, though the penne we a touch tough for me. I would recommend this establishment to adults or families as well. It had a fun and informal atmosphere. Reservations are not mandatory, except for larger groups. They even have a special menu choice to get you to the BAM theatre on time! The service was fine, nothing overly special. My friends picked up the tab, but the prices seemed reasonable an conducive to sharing. more

great restaurant... 9/28/2008

Yippee!\r What a great restaurant! It is very refreshing to eat food that is different yet meets all the expectations of Turkish cuisine.\r The service was terrific: we were under time constraints to get to a show. I had told them at the time of reservation. The waiter was fully aware and guiding us through the meal selection and timing very gracefully. We were on time.\r We had the Mediterranean salad (excellent and refreshing, no surprise), the Grilled Sirloin Steak Roasted (that was special), the Rigatoni (i still have the flavor in my mouth), and the lLamb Keftedes Meatballs .\r It was only our second time. We definitely need to go more often.\r Pros: fresh food,staff more

First time's a charm... 7/17/2008

This is my first time writing on here, but I'm impressed so I thought I'd give it a shot. Last night I organized a large birthday dinner for a friend at this joint in my new Brooklyn nabe (landlord recommended). Nobody in my party had been before, but everyone had a great time. The service was friendly and accommodating. Our waitress recommended that we all split tapas and small plates, which worked out great for our group. Three words: bacon wrapped dates. How can you go wrong with those? The kitchen had no problem with a few special requests, which is refreshing in light of the current trend of ""no substitutions"" and plate sharing fees. It gets hectic in there! The bar was mobbed and there was an acordian player that makes it sound like Paris. Good wine list, and much better pours than the city for sure... though the cocktails were really different also. My friend raved about the special margarita on the list. Pros: staff has an anything goes mindset. tapas are great for groups. Cons: it gets loud! and crowded. more

Simply the worst 7/14/2008

Last Friday night we went to Olea's for dinner, as we did tons of times before. But it wasn't the same, the 30 minute wait for a table, followed by some of the worst food, just wasn't wasn't a good night.\r \r After the 30 minute waiting a table, we placed our order, ""Paella for 2."" I asked about our order 2 times, it took about 25 minute to come. \r \r Paella was just the worst. The arborio rice wasn't cooked correctly it soupy, not creamy. To add to the nightmare of a meal, there were 2 dead clam in this soupy mess. The cook, or the staff should have notice the 2 dead clam floating in this dish. \r \r Finally, there has been some major changes at Olea and not for the better. We will NEVER eat there again. Pros: Cozy Cons: The worst Paella on the planet more

great food, pleasant servers, tiny portions and long wait for food 11/26/2007

I love the atmosphere here: the crowd is nice, the servers are sweet. the food is really fresh and tasty with interesting combos. I just wish the portions weren't so chincy (and i'm not a ""pile it high"" kind of gal) and that you didnt have to wait such a long time time to get your food. more

It used to be a 5-star 11/26/2007

After one birthday celebration, two anniversaries and many trips with guests, my wife and I were quite disappointed on our last trip to Olea. When our salmon appetizer arrived, it was half the size it was before and the sauce was quite different. We asked our server what had changed and we learned that there was a new chef. The main course was all servicably done, but it lacked the real ""wow"" that Olea used to serve consistently.\r \r I hope that the new chef finds his/her legs and brings the quality of food up to what it was. We'll give it another shot and I hope that I will be able to update this review and bring it back up to 5 stars where it once was. Pros: Absolutely charming atmosphere, pleasant waitstaff, always a big crowd (in the fun sense) Cons: New chef has altered the menu. more

Cozy neighborhood eatery 9/26/2007

I love the idea of brunch all day during the week. It gives those of us who work the weekend or who loathe the impatient, badly behaved children weilding weekend brunch crowd as much as I do. The staff is always friendly, prompt to seat, greet and take your order, the manager Dan, leading the way. I've never been dissapointed by a single aspect of the food. From the granola and yogurt, to the seafood ravioli, the green eggs and lamb, all wonderfully prepared. The wine list is expertly selected and fairly priced also. If you go to this restaurant and don't order desert, you're doing yourself a sever diservice. \r \r \r Mediterranean food is pricey anywhere you go and the cost is reasonable here. I can't understand how, especially neighborhood people, can justify paying Manhattan rents in Brooklyn then turning around and complaining about the prices at a restaurant in the same 'hood. What do you think their overhead is like? \r \r Don't miss this place. It's amazing! Pros: Food, Service, Ambience, Wine Cons: None that I can think of. more

really good food 7/3/2007

I've had the breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner menus and I love this place!! Its really good to come hangout with some friends or a date and you'll really enjoy the food, its incredible. I highly recommend this place! more

Recomended for Saturday brunch 6/19/2007

I live near by and love this place, they have a geat brunch on Saturdsy mornings\r and every time I pass there it is full. The service is very warm I am not sure if the owner\r is working there all the time but I sure feels like everything has to come out perfect. Pros: Great place, food and service Cons: a bit pricy more

delicious cuisine 3/25/2007

I have had dinner at Olea several times and brunch. The food has never disappointed. I particularly love the raw bar and have found the orata perfectly cooked, never dry. I went on Morroccan Monday and the tagines are wonderful, very flavorful. They have the best dessert ever, affigado, which is icecream, carmel and expresso. The belly dancer on the first monday of the month makes dining there a special evening. I think the atmosphere is cozy and meditteranean. The service is friendly and efficient. Definately one of the best. more

Delicious 3/15/2007

I am so suprised to read anything bad about this place. I live near by so I go all the time and I always get great food and great service. In fact, I feel like I'm traveling in the Meditteranean when I eat there. The grilled octopus is tender and beautifully cooked, the mushroom risotto is creamy and delicious, and the last time I had steak there it was perfect. The wine list is extensive and interesting and well priced.I just hope those who had a bad experience will give it another go. It has become my regular neighborhood spot. Pros: ambience, food, wine list Cons: ????? more

a wonderful friday night out! 3/3/2007

some friends and i saw the forsythe show at BAM and then headed down to olea for dinner. i had passed it many times in the past and always wanted to check it out. a friendly host greeted us immediately but told us there would probably be a 30 minute wait (even the bar bas packed). but, there is a spacious church pew outside, and he served us a bottle of wine while we waited! after about twenty minutes a table opened up. we had a few rounds of delicious tapas (try the turkish cigars and the baby octopus.... the dips were also great). for entrees, some of us (there were 5) had traditional meals (i had the pork- great), but others, not as hungry, had appetizer portions of pasta- the size was just right. the orrechiette was great. for desert we split the chocolate torte and bread pudding, our friendly waitress' favorites. she was spot on. the whole time, there was a guitar player singing in spanish... but not loud enough to interrupt conversation. all the service was super friendly and welcoming! we had an intoxicating (literally/figuratively!) night! Pros: delicious food, friendly service, beautiful space, LIVE MUSIC! Cons: a short wait... but it was a Friday at 9:45! more

Hmmm 2/7/2007

This place has really pretty decor. That said, the service is REALLY slow. Food is mediocre. The BIG problem I've had is the fly problem. Every time I go in there, it seems there are four or five flies buzzing around. I thought flies DIE in winter. I was in there the other day, and it was freezing out, and there was a bunch of flies buzzing around. Does that mean they've been living in there the whole winter? I don't know. Like the decor a lot. It's a nice vibe, but the food is kind of blah. Pros: Nice decor Cons: Blah food more

bad choice 1/25/2007

i'm greek and my wife is from valencia ""spain"" this food is a joke\r are this people ever been to Greece, Italy, Spain, Turkey and Morocco\r this guys dont know about mediterranean food,\r food taste to blend service is bad and slow\r and they can fool americans but not mediterranean people\r if you want to eat mediterranean, go to an authentic one. Pros: nice corner Cons: please leave our countries alone thank you more

lovely 1/10/2007

On a recent weekday evening, everything was perfect. Immediate seating, warm service without annoying or overbearing chattiness (I prefer polite, subtle, not-in-my-face-every-second table service at a restaurant--I'm not looking for a BFF). We has 3 different wines, 1 tapas plate, 3 appetizers and a hearty risotto entree--and everything was perfect. Subtle yet savory Mediterranean fare that's both homey and elegant at the same time. Unclear what happened to the other reviewer's ""French toast"" but maybe dinner is the time to go. Loved it and can't wait to go back. more

Still the one... 11/12/2006

Over two years ago, my husband and I were lucky enough to come to Olea on a neighbor?s recommendation. That evening, and every visit since, we left happy to have spent our time, money, and appetites on a restaurant that never fails to please. So, despite a few contrary recent City Search reviews, for us Olea is still the one place that keeps us coming back. Through the grapevine we heard that a new chef had been hired, and we were curious to taste his food. On our most recent excursion to this Fort Greene gem, we made some of our regular selections off the menu. I opted for the spaghettini with scallops, served in a light, flavorful tomato saffron sauce that was so good our amiable server quickly brought me more crusty bread to soak it up! My husband opted for the pork chop. While the portion size alone was impressive, the sides of rabe and potatoes had my husband declaring it to be a ?home run??I took a taste? it was-- out of the park! We also enjoyed our usual salads and hummus with pita leading up to our entrees. However, we skipped dessert (because we were full not because we weren?t tempted) but ended our evening meal with the gracious owner stopping by our table to ask how our dinner had been. Courteous service and reasonable prices remain a standard at Olea. And, while Olea?s past chef clearly set the bar high, the food that the new chef produced on this blustery winter evening left us warm, satisfied, and steadfast fans of this restaurant?s cuisine. For me, it remains the one place I choose: for a New Year?s Eve dinner (the past 2 years were simply delicious), for a special occasion, or for a Friday evening meal that is guaranteed to satisfy. Olea reliably provides attentive service, a cozy atmosphere, a friendly host, and, most importantly-- great food! For me, it is still the one. Pros: food, ambience, service Cons: ? more

Fantastic Ft. Greene Food 8/7/2006

Great service and warm atmosphere. I had the monkfish which was the best I have had in New York. A fantastic addition to Ft. Greene, I can only hope that we'll see more fine restaurants such as this. Pros: Great food for the price, excellent wine selection as well, warm atmosphere more
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Menu for Olea

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  • The Scene
    Rustic pottery and terra cotta tiles decorate the airy dining room filled with local 20- and 30-somethings. Black-clad servers swish between well-spaced tables, and huge windows...

  • 11/22/2005 Provided by Citysearch

Additional information

  • Hours:

    Mon - Thu, Sun, 10am - 11pm; Fri, Sat, 10am - midnight
  • Payments:

    Discover, Master Card, American Express, Visa, Cash
  • Neighborhoods:

    Fort Greene