I just had an excellent dinner at the recently remodeled Oleana between Central and Inman Squares in Cambridge. I highly recommend the place - particularly if you are looking for an alternative to the usual choices.
Oleana's food is very original - bringing together Middle Easterrn, North African and European spices and preparation in a wonderfully successful way. The dishes are not created out of a zeal for experimentation, but because the fused flavors and textures reallly work well together making for delicious food.
The service was first rate (our waitress really knew the wine list and steered us to some excellent choices). The design choices for the new interior were very elegant - earth tones, a very convincing simulated wood stove, cork tiles on the wall, and small tiles as a tabletop.
On the down side the relatively small size of the place means it's a bit loud and there isn't much room for lounging if you arrive early (just a small bar that sits perhaps 8-10 people).
I have two friends who are chefs - both separately suggested eating here when we made plans to get together - 'nuff said.
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