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“Oleana”
Review of Oleana

Oleana
Ranked #2 of 627 Restaurants in Cambridge
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $41 - $80
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special occasions
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Btw. Prospect & Columbia
Level Contributor
15 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Oleana”
Reviewed May 13, 2014

Always crowded, but always delicious, interesting and well-presented. Be prepared to reserve weeks in advance. The vegetarian tasting menus are a treat but it is rare to find anything on the menu that will not be tasty. Street parking might be a problem but there is a lot across the street available for use.

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Alexander A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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626 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    441
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    12
    14
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Hebrew first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
288 reviews
151 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
“Excellent choice for vegetarians”
Reviewed May 13, 2014

First impressions of the restaurant belie what is really a good little restaurant. The room is a little "local restaurant" and lacks warmth or style.
The food is middle eastern inspired. It can be a little hit and miss but generally is very good. There are plenty of choices for vegetarians (or even those of the family who are just not excited by meat) and the food is well above average compared to the typical vegetarian restaurants and so I think there is a constant steam of customers here for that reason.
Service from the food staff is extremely lacklustre. They have very limited knowledge of the food and virtually no knowledge of the wine list. They are also distant and you will need to flag them down if you want anything.
Interesting wine list is worth the effort. It is worth asking for more information on some of the wines as the sommelier is very helpful. Let yourself be led here as it was worth it. We tried some sparkling wines that were excellent.
Oleana has plenty of scope for improvement but is well worth trying out.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank djfowler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Raleigh, North Carolina
Level Contributor
204 reviews
96 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“Outstanding Food!”
Reviewed May 3, 2014

I visited Oleana on a business dinner with some colleagues. We had a family-style menu with several appetizers, entrees, and desserts. The food was outstanding. Every dish that was served to the table was presented well and tasted great. The service was average and the atmosphere was good. I agree with some of the other reviews regarding the space and layout of the restaurant, however, it is somewhat consistent with Cambridge area restaurants. In this case, the food was the reason that I rated Oleana as excellent.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Phil M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Somerville, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
24 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Annual Birthday Tradition”
Reviewed April 29, 2014

The wife and I do this for my birthday every year. We're never disappointed.

Irrespective of what you order, you'll leave happy. Even the bread variety basket is among some of the best I've had.

Vegetarians will find plenty to choose from. In fact, they even have a 5-course vegetarian tasting menu for $40. Which leads me to this: You can go 1 of 2 ways in this place. You can order entrees, or you can stick to the mezze and make it a tapas night. I've been pretty happy either way.

If you do decide to go for an entree, DO NOT miss the zaatar chicken. It is, quite simply, unbelievable, paired with the folded cheese pancake. Among the mezze, the falafel were simply heavenly (airy, crunchy, flavorful). Another fave of mine that I always order is the cacik dip (Greek yogurt whipped with olive oil and sauteed greens)

  • Visited April 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Aamir M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Oh how I wish Oleana served up to its reputation”
Reviewed April 28, 2014

Was looking forward to a culinary adventure and really, really wanted to love Oleana...

Place is a little cramped (tho the bar looked comfortable and the table in the corner by the wine is a sweet spot); the menu needs an interpreter (which was part of the adventure, so that part was actually kinda fun); beer and wine and non-booze-license appertifs only were pretty expensive.

We decided to sample several appetizers to maximize the experience and the taste sensations.

Portions are small. The tablespoon size of the Creamy Feta with Red Pepper was tasty - tho there was little hint of feta (and the bread in the bread basket was too soft a vessel; this spread may have been better served by some crispy bread).

With red pepper and pomegranate molasses smeared over it and then the wedges stacked (for looks?), it was impossible to discern that the Grilled Pita had been grilled - the wedges were soggy... floppy...

The Tunisian Styled Egg Brik was interesting with a crispy shell filled with (what tasted like ) spinach and a fried egg - the latter of which sadly was undercooked - and runny (pardon but... eewww).. The figs and pickled grapes were the most interesting taste sensation in the Parsnip Borek - which featured dry, tasteless, overcooked (?) parsnip mounds (I knew there were parsnips in there only because it was in the description!).

Only the Fideos had a sense of the unique spices I expected to be discernible in just about everything on the menu, but tho it was described as 'spicy' there was little heat.

I dunno... maybe my expectations were too high? Nah, the food is way overrated.

  • Visited April 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank kate g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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