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“Shockingly Good!”
Review of Olive - CLOSED

Olive
Price range: $11 - $26
Cuisines: Mediterranean
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations
Description: we're located in the old Wympee diner at the corner of third and wayne in downtown Dayton, Ohio! the outside looks the same and even has the original signage as built in 1938!!! the inside is reminiscent of a chicago bistro and we have a patio! we take reservations and walk-ins, but there are only 28 seats inside, so calling ahead is a great idea! 937.222.DIVE (3483). we don't have diet sodas, but you can bring your own! we have over 70 local farmers on speed dial and our own garden and added a farm and bee hive this year!! come visit our little dive!! our motto: local over import, labor over convenience and service over everything else. we chase chickens, when we say free range.... we mean it. your locally sourced, mediterranean, american restaurant in the old wympee diner, downtown, dayton! we're gluten free, vegan, paleo & allergy friendly, but we've also got great grass fed beef and burgers!!!
Reviewed May 24, 2014

My wife and I have driven by Olive, An Urban Dive countless times in the years that they have been open and never noticed that it wasn't actually an old Wympee's. Today my wife somehow found out that it was something much more and suggested we try it. Since it was a Saturday morning shortly after 10 AM we just stopped by...parked right next to the great funky-looking building and strolled right in. We had nearly the entire place to ourselves and had our choice of nearly any table both inside and out. Well, in very short order the old adage "Timing is everything" was confirmed. By the time that we left, the tiny place was packed with guests waiting outside...lesson learned...any other time of day...make reservations! The service was fine, the decor is sorta nouveau-hip in an Austin, Texas kinda way...but the food was outstanding. They pride themselves on using all fresh ingredients and the taste confirms that. I had the frittata and my first bit was shocking...it was that good. It came with a side of yogurt and fruit along with local honey and it was great. My wife had the BLT grilled cheese and thought it was very good too. Now, all that glowing praise comes at a cost...don't expect your tab to be Wympee's prices. While not exorbitant for all the obvious care put into the food, it's not cheap! But go see for yourself...we're very lucky to have Olive, An Urban Dive in the dayton area. Just be sure to call ahead.

Thank Piquarick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (197)
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107 - 111 of 197 reviews

Reviewed April 16, 2014

I was really looking forward to Olive. It is really small (around 30 seats?) and I can see why reservations are recommended. I ate lunch with my wife and 2 year old daughter...it was a 5 minute drive from Dayton Childrens Hospital.

The staff was great! I couldn't ask for friendlier people. I also appreciate what they stand for in terms of fresh food. Their promise of fresh food and high ranking on TripAdvisor is why we went. The food itself was a tad disappointing, however, considering.

My wife ordered a tuna melt and she felt there was little actual tuna on the sandwich with a lot of slightly under-cooked white beans. Worth noting that on the menu it says sandwiches come with soup and salad. Our waitress noted that it really means two sides...so my wife opted for their sweet potato fries instead of a salad and she thought they were tasty. I ordered the buffalo mac & cheese. Loved the bread crumbs, andouille sausage and cheesy pasta. I did not taste any hot sauce or pancetta that was supposed to be included. It was still pretty good, just not all that I expected.

I am giving them a 3 because I had high hopes for Olive and my food fell short. I respect what they stand for (no microwave or can opener) and hope they continue to succeed - the people there were awesome. I would still recommend checking out Olive to see if it is for you.

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1  Thank oh_maestro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 6, 2014

My wife and I went to this small restaurant in downtown Dayton. The building was the site of an old hamburger place. The owner specializes in organic and many vegetarian meals. I had a wonderful homemade half pizza - chicken salad and veggies on dough made from chick peas. My wife had a delicious ginger carrot soup and vegetarian dish. I had some herbal tea.

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Thank TripPhotographer52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 31, 2014

Usually when I review here it's a restaurant I've visited for the first time. Olive, on the other hand, required a couple of tries--I didn't feel I "had it" after only one. So here's the conclusion.

Pardon me while I indulge in a brief rant to sstart:

ICE CREAM!!! the best EVER!!!

Thank you; I now resume my usual reserved tone.

New visitors might need an orientation. Olive, an Urban Dive, is situated in a former Wympee hamburger joint--I think it was the last in the nation of the chain that inspired the Popeye character. At any rate, the exterior is still the mid-century white-tile chic proudly proclaiming "Wympee" all over--and personally I hope they never change it. Once inside, know that they hold no liquor license but they do allow diners to carry in their bottles of whatever, subject to a small fee for service. I note that their menu continues to honor the Wympee trade mark, and that if you call for reservations and get the maitre d' that I saw working (to my delight) then you'll receive a full orientation.

There's ample parking in the lots that surround the s\establishment. Inside, the decor is contemporary, the dining room small--nay, cramped!--with nicely spaced tables, and the sound levels a bit high--all things befitting an urban dive. If it's your birthday you'll receive the birthday song, nicely in unison, on a choir of kazoos, which will raise the noise level another couple of notches.

Their menu promises that they're friendly to patrons who are gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, vegan, or paleo. Happily, the menu isn't slavish about those dietary choices. There's a good range of appetizers, pasta-based entrees, and gourmet pizzas. On our first visit, my wife decided to make a meal of their risotto bombs and a side salad; I ordered their Paleo diet entree, not because I'm slavishly Paleo but because it looked good.

The risotto bombs were generous, tennis-ball sized, deep fried to a creamy perfection and served on an interesting fresh marinara. I got a little taste and thought them fine; my wife thought a little too salty. The appetizer portion was actually quite large, you might consider them as an entree or perhaps something to share with companions. Her salad was elevated by a bleu cheese dressing that must have been made in-house with some superb high-priced bleu.

My entree was fine. Normally the Paleo plate comes with an angus hamburger, but I subbed the ground ahi tuna patty. The tuna was, as is normal for ground fish, quite mild in character, and since it was ground flesh I ordered it medium well; a whole thick filet of ahi seared to medium rare would have been much better. That said, the dish was satisfying; the patty is topped with parmesan, fried egg, and a delightful fresh salsa, and there are ripe avocado slices on the side as well as some oven-roasted vegetables, which on this night was a flavorful combo of sweet peppers, summer squash, and potato.

The dessert menu arrived, and I steeled my nerve not to succumb to the temptations of the cakes and cookies, though they sounded so enticing. But the ice cream menu broke down all my defenses. It's Jeni's ice cream, a brand out of Columbus OH that I had not tried, despite having seen it in various upscale supermarkets. The flavors--I had to try them. You can order a single scoop, two scoops, or a tasting plate of four half-scoops, and that was perfect for me. A couple of oriental spoons and a couple of little ramekins brought me black coffee, salted caramel, honey pistachio, and goat cheese cherry. This dessert inspired me to return and try more of their menu--particularly the ice cream. It was the best ever--have I already said that?--with an unctuous creamy texture and bold flavors, not too sweet. It's quite difficult to find pistachio ice cream any more, so that made it an outstanding treat for my palate which had acquired that taste decades ago.

On my followup visit, I lunched on a seafood chowder, one of the specials of the day. It was quite good, full of some sort of flaked fish (halibut?) and crab flavors. I finished with a Jeni's sorbet, Riesling and spiced pear--pure delight!

The place isn't perfect, but who is? It's thoroughly well done, and I must exalt the staff, who are friendly and helpful to a fault. A little pricey maybe, but an experience to be savored.

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1  Thank TR26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 26, 2014

If you want something different for a change, Olive is the place for you. Their menu does has many new options - and healthy to boot - that you won't see anywhere else.

I had a fish entrée and though a bit nervous about the ingredients you don't see everyday; but it did not disappoint in the least. It was some of the tastiest fish I have ever had. My boyfriend liked all the toppings on one of their pizza and asked for it to be created into a pasta dish instead. They were quick to accommodate. They use local and fresh ingredients; so expect the cost to reflect this. The price did not seem out of line for what we received.

It is a little 'dive' place; so tables are close together and there are not many. We don't mind this. We called ahead for reservations; which they had ready when we walked in. The service is wonderful; quick with suggestions and to answer questions. We are never in a hurry when we go out to dinner; so it was nice to take it slow and not feel rushed. The service had the same attitude - no problem for us.

They do not carry alcohol; but knowing this ahead of time we brought a bottle of wine that we liked. No need to pay an upcharge for a wine you may not prefer. They also do not carry diet sodas; but you can carry this in as well. When we made reservations, we were informed of this. Great planning to let us know ahead of time!

Chill service, bring wine you like and delicious food. It doesn't get any better than that!

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2  Thank Laura F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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