Nosh on: Olives gets a make over

Get into the refurbished Olives (10 City Square, Charlestown). For more info call 617-242-1999 or visit www.toddenglish.com.

Did Oliver ask, “Please sir, can I have less?” No, not even on a good day. That’s where small plate culture goes wrong. Really, you can spend a small fortune on them and leave unsatisfied. Thankfully, the newly reopened Olives — the seat of Todd English’s restaurant empire launched from the very same Charlestown spot in 1989 — has gone over to the small plate side and got it right.   

The revamped Olives is stripped down, steely looking, and wide-open plan in design. But its beautifully concise menu, which centers on trending small, sharable plates, has rich tantalizing selections. How about corn bread baked in a giant clamshell and topped with crispy whole belly clams and soaked in a highly spicy harissa aioli? Yum! Or Olives’ original signature “Carpetbagger Oysters” — crispy tempura battered oysters wrapped in beef carpaccio sitting on a soft bed of truffled creamed potato.

Even raw bar items, the place on any menu liable to leave you feeling light of wallet and stomach, are satisfying. Amazing fluke crudo accented with citrusy kumquat and a delicate scattering of sliced jalapeno fills the plate. Fills it! The fish is thickly sliced to show off its elegant flavor and velvety texture, which is enhanced by crunchy pink sea salt and a drizzle of silky olive oil.

Pastas, flatbreads and entrees, oh my! Large plates augment the menu with more voluptuous flavorings: Salmon is topped with equally densely flavored crabmeat and matched with piquant artichoke; marinated skirt steak has short rib stuffed ravioli and corn pudding.

Sharing small plates often deny basic human nature and need: greed and hunger. When it comes to small plates, less just has to be more. Olives maxes out a minimal concept nicely.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

National

Chelsea Clinton pregnant with first child

Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child.

National

Divers struggle in search for South Korean ferry…

By Jungmin Jang and Narae KimMOKPO/JINDO, South Korea (Reuters) - Rescuers struggled with strong waves and murky waters on Thursday as they searched for hundreds…

National

New Hampshire moves to decriminalize adultery

For the first time in hundreds of years, it's about to be legal to cheat on your spouse in New Hampshire.

Television

Dick Wolf to bring fictionalized world of 'Law…

A&E has ordered a pilot called "D.O.A." from "Law and Order" mastermind Dick Wolf that will focus on real detectives reexamining cold cases. A trio…

Movies

Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.

Television

Shane West talks WGN America's 'Salem'

The actor on history lessons, a new network and showing his butt.

Music

Both feet on the ground with Aimee Mann…

What began with a cool double-bill of Ted Leo opening for Aimee Mann morphed into a full-fledged collaborative project that they're calling The Both. “There…

Sports

2014 Boston Marathon preview: Elite American, International runners…

2014 Boston Marathon: Elite American, International runners to watch

NBA

2014 NBA Finals odds: Ranking which playoff teams…

2014 NBA Finals odds: Ranking which playoff teams have the best shot at a championship. The Thunder, Clippers, Heat and Rockets lead the way.

NFL

2014 Patriots, full NFL schedule release date announced

2014 Patriots, full NFL schedule release date announced

NBA

Fantasy basketball: Finding next year's NBA studs

Before we put the 2013-14 fantasy basketball season to bed, it’s worth thinking about next year’s breakouts while they’re fresh in our mind.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.

Travel

Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.

Tech

Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.