All the Right Ingredients @ Olio on Hope Street – Stamford, CT

18 Jun

Olio is now open!

Update:  see the review of our great experience at Olio

Passion.  That’s the first word that comes to mind when I think about Steve Costanzo and Moira Hyland.  Passion.  It’s passion that took them away from corporate America to follow their dreams when a spot opened up at 934 Hope Street where Bella Luna used to be.  When they both checked out the spot, they fell madly in love and knew that they were destined to be the owners.

So, I need to introduce you to both owners of Olio (opening July 5) before I can go on.  Moira went for culinary training at The Natural Gourmet Institute so she could understand cooking, techniques, and so that she would understand the ins and outs of the restaurant biz. Her personality bubbles over and you get the sense that she’s take charge, gives her all, and is very proud of her work.  Steve is this way, too, and they mesh well together.  In fact, they often refer to each other as family.  Moira says here and there that Steve samples too many dishes and Steve states that she annoyingly steals all of his fries when they are eating.  Steve, I know what that’s like…Kristien is also a thief.  You get the feeling that they are like brother and sister, loving each other but also ribbing and goading each other.

As for Steve, he has had an interesting career.  He began by delivering food and one of his stops just happened to be a catering business.   One day he asked if they needed any help chopping or prepping meals.  He left his job, began cooking and his love of food grew and blossomed.  Steve soon found himself sautéing, flambéing, baking, cooking, and grilling at the New York Restaurant School in Manhattan.

The Food

Now, onto Olio.  At first, I had visions in my head of another Italian restaurant in Stamford, but I was wrong.  Actually, Olio means “a dish of many different ingredients” in Spanish.  It’s no coincidence that a Spanish name was chosen by Steve’s daughter because the menu has big, bold flavors from Latino cuisine.  You’ve got fresh fruits like cassava and avocado and dishes such as a carnitas torta and beef short ribs with ancho chili tomato confit.  One of the dishes that he just added to the menu is a slow braised pork shoulder served over crispy plantains, served with pickled red onions and coriander.  He also has planned out a killer homemade ricotta gnocchi that promises to be light as air, strewn with lumps of lobsters, sprinkled with shallots, and bathed in a luscious brandy tomato cream sauce.  There are vegetarian options, too, don’t fret:  there’s a zucchini roulade for example.  He’ll lightly slice the zucchini, then put farmers ricotta, lemon, and plum tomato confit on top, then roll it up.  Ah, that just screams out summer, just screams out fresh.  Feel like seeing the full menu?  Steve was kind enough to share it with us, just check it out at the end of the post.

Speaking of the menu, Steve and Moira will be keeping it small and manageable.  The advantages of this?  Steve will be able to add in flare and creative dishes with specials.  Also, this will help Olio to create new menus as the seasons change, drawing from local sources whenever possible.  They’ll be starting off with lunch and dinner and will move in a killer brunch when they get into their stride.  Think some time around August.

The Drinks

The day I went to visit Olio was the same day that their wine distributor came by and let them sample some fun and unique wines.  Good news for you, Omnomivores:  whereas some restaurants START their bottles at $32, Olio has made $32 their most expensive bottle.  You’ll find bottles here that you can’t really find at your local shop, giving you a nice chance to explore and find a new favorite.  They will also have some bottles and cans of beer for purchase.

Special Events

There will be wine and beer tastings from time to time for diners to take advantage of.  When Steve and Moira find a new beer they like, they’ll snatch it up and put it on the menu.  Also, keep both eyes and both ears out for their wine and beer dinners.  There will also be cooking classes with Steve from time to time, so you can learn to cook like he does.  Finally, they plan to have educational and interactive events based around a central local ingredient or product.

Olio
Noms:  TBD
Cost:  $$$
Address:  934 Hope Street
                  Stamford, CT 06905
Phone:  (203) 817-0303
Fax:  (203) 817-0305

The Lunch Menu

Starters

Oven Roasted Tomato Soup $8

  Coriander Crème Fraiche

Wild Mushroom Crostini $10

  Cippoline Onion, Telleggio Cheese and Truffle oil

Boston lettuce Wedge $8

 Crispy Pancetta, Soft Poached Egg, Buttermilk Blue Cheese Dressing

Tri Color $8

 Arugula, Boston Lettuce & Radicchio, Roasted Peppers, Shaved Grana Padana, Balsamic Vinaigrette

Zucchini Roulade $8

Farmers Ricotta, Lemon, Plum Tomato Confit

BBQ Spareribs $10

Miso Soy, Sesame & Charred Green Onions

Entrées

All Sandwiches Served with House Made Fries

Olio Chopped Salad $11

Candied Pecans, Blue Cheese, Avocado, Grilled Corn and Roasted Beets

Fresh Roast Turkey Breast $11

 Brie, Arugula, Cranberry Mayo on Multi Grain

Grilled Salmon $14

Shaved Fennel, Red Onion, Oranges and Basil, Mixed Greens, Sherry Vinaigrette

House Made Fettuccini $12

Fava Beans Roasted Corn Baby Arugula Grape Tomatoes

 House Burger $12

Cippoline Onions, Apple wood Bacon and Gruyere on Brioche

Steak Sandwich $12

House BBQ Sauce, Crispy Onions, Aged Cheddar on Garlic Bread

 Torta $12

Pork Carnitas, Avocado, Chipotle Mayo, Roasted Tomato and Arugula on Ciabatta

Grilled Cheese & Soup $12

 Granny Smith Apples, Bacon, Dijon, Sharp Cheddar on Toasted Sourdough with Roasted Tomato Soup

Desserts

Cinnamon Sugar Dusted Doughnuts $9

Nutella Dipping Sauce

 Bread Pudding $9

Bourbon Crème Anglaise

Short Bread Lemon Tart $9

 Fresh Whipped Cream and Raspberries

Warm Almond Fudge Torte $9

Grand Mariner, House Made Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Tres Leches $9

Toasted Coconut, Caramel, Fresh Whipped Cream

The Dinner Menu

Starters

Oven Roasted Tomato Soup $8

Coriander Crème Fraiche

Wild Mushroom Crostini $10

 Telleggio Cheese, Caramelized Cippoline Onions, Truffle Oil

Boston lettuce Wedge $8

 Crispy Pancetta, Soft Poached Egg, Buttermilk Blue Cheese Dressing

 Tri Color $8

Roasted Peppers Shaved Grana Padana, Balsamic Vinaigrette

Shrimp & Sirloin $14

Plantain Fries, Serrano Garlic Aioli

Braised Pork Shoulder $10

 Avocado, Crispy Plantains, Pickled Red Onions, Coriander

Seared Sea Scallops $14

Smoked Cauliflower Fondue, Grilled Corn,

Sweet & Sour Golden Raisins

 BBQ Spareribs $10

 Miso Soy BBQ Sauce, Sesame Seeds, Charred Green Onions

Entrées

House Made Ricotta Gnocchi $24

Lobster, Shallots, Brandy Tomato Cream

House Made Fettuccini $18

Fava Beans, Grilled Corn, Arugula, Grape Tomatoes

Zucchini Roulade $16

Farmers Ricotta, Lemon, Plum Tomato Confit, Baby Arugula

Pan Roasted Chicken $24

 Truffle Mashed Potatoes, Shallots, Lemon Thyme Pan Gravy

Crispy Pork Belly $24

 Braised Cassava, Pazole, Red Onion Relish

Beef Short Rib $26

Truffle Mashed Potatoes, Ancho Chili Tomato Confit

Sautéed Chicken Breast $24

 Sun Choke White Bean Puree, Garlic Spinach

Crispy Black Sea Bass $28

Caramelized Fennel, Plum Tomato, Saffron Shrimp Broth

 Cioppino $28

Clams, Mussels, Cod, Shrimp & Scallops, Grilled Crostini with Roasted Garlic Aioli

12oz. N.Y. Strip $28

 Gruyere Caramelized Leek Potato Gratin, Garlic Spinach

Desserts

Cinnamon Sugar Dusted Doughnuts $9

 Nutella Dipping Sauce

 Bread Pudding $9

Bourbon Crème Anglaise

Lemon Tart $9

Fresh Whipped Cream, Raspberries

Warm Almond Fudge Torte $9

Grand Mariner, House Made Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Tres Leches $9

Toasted Coconut, Caramel, Fresh Whipped Cream

Olio Restaurant on Urbanspoon

10 Responses to “All the Right Ingredients @ Olio on Hope Street – Stamford, CT”

  1. Darlene July 17, 2012 at 9:16 pm #

    Has anyone tried this place yet?

    Like

  2. beanocook July 7, 2012 at 3:57 pm #

    $24 chicken breast?

    Like

  3. Lee Berger July 6, 2012 at 10:25 pm #

    Congratulations Moira. What a journey and what a result! Look forward to hearing all sorts of positives — wish we could be there to sample.

    Like

  4. Courtney P June 18, 2012 at 1:36 pm #

    So excited for Olio to come into the neighborhood. Was so disappointed to see Bella Luna close but looking forward to welcome this newcomber soon! And at no more than $32 a bottle for wine, how can we go wrong!

    Like

    • Dan & Kristien Del Ferraro June 18, 2012 at 7:54 pm #

      Yeah, Courtney…we’re there with you! We think this is what the neighborhood needs…nice, creative cuisine. We’ve got tons of bars and Italian spots nearby, so it’s nice to get some variety in. And, with wine that affordable, it’ll be a no-brainer.

      Like

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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