Kevin has been really sick all week, so I flew solo Tuesday evening to meet my parents for dinner at Hot Olives, a modern American restaurant in Winter Park. We had a few hiccups in our evening, but overall I really enjoyed Hot Olives and would return.
Right off the bat they had me sold by placing a basket of assorted breads at the table accompanied by a pile of olive tapenade. I love olives, so this was right up my alley.
For an appetizer, we ordered the Hot Olives, their signature dish. These are jumbo black olives stuffed with cheese then breaded with panko and fried. They are served with bleu cheese and chili sauce.
The cheese and olive combination was great, and the breading was nice and light.
One thing I really enjoyed about Hot Olives was that you could order half portions of many of their dinners. I ordered a half portion of the shrimp and grits, which was plenty after all the bread and hot olives I ate.
Along with jumbo tiger shrimp, the dish featured mushrooms and bacon. These were coated in a demi glace and sat on top of peppery grits. The dish was extremely savory and filling. I was very pleased with my selection and cleaned my plate.
My step mom ordered the grouper sandwich but was actually presented with the crab cake sandwich. Like me, she’s not very picky so ate it and said it was very good.
I always feel awful about sending things back.
My dad ordered the Key West Grouper and thought the lime flavor was too overpowering.
Our waiter was extremely attentive and polite all evening, and when he saw that my dad didn’t enjoy the grouper (which was by no fault of the restaurant, just a personal preference), the waiter immediately offered him another dish. My dad didn’t take him up on his offer, but I thought the level of service we received was very good despite him bringing out the wrong dish.
Besides a wide variety of seafood, they offer pasta dishes and meat dishes. They also have a very interesting cocktail menu.
If you could pick any one ingredient for a restaurant to revolve around, what would it be? I’d have to say garlic. But it probably wouldn’t be a big hit for date nights.