Oh my, how fast a week goes by. Let's do a restaurant review, shall we?
On Friday we finally tried Hope & Olive in Greenfield (MA). The Greenfield/Turner's Falls area appears to be going through a little food renaissance. This coincides with the fact that a lot of young first-time home-buyers, like our friends Ryan and Becca, are moving up there. I will happily make the 40 minute drive to eat at Hope & Olive on a semi-regular basis. (I know that 40 minutes is not a big deal, but we live next to a huge food town so we rarely stray very far).
The food was delicious. I started with their sake martini, called the Cukesake. It's a perfectly balanced mix of Hendrick's gin, sake, lemon juice and muddled cucumber. It's so smooth and cool, I could just picture losing a whole summer day drinking those and reading while sprawled on a hammock. *note to self: buy a hammock*
For appetizers, we went with their fried polenta with roasted veggies and balsamic reduction. It was really tasty, though I like my polenta to be super-soft in the middle (Apollo Grill does it like that) and it could have used more balsamic. We also had the fried brussel sprouts which were delicious. No batter on these, just split and fried, served with a horseradish aoli. You get a HUGE pile, so be warned! We had to make ourselves stop eating them for fear of not finishing dinner.
I had hand cut fettuccine with smoked trout, roasted tomatoes and fennel, and a dill sour cream sauce. Heavenly, even though I picked out the fennel (I do not care for fennel). They don't smoke the trout in-house, but it was moist and not overly smokey tasting. The pasta was perfectly al dente and there was the perfect amount of sauce.
Jeffrey had what he insisted on repeatedly referring to as 'The $17 Meatloaf". It was very good, served with baked mac and cheese and braised greens. Nothing outstanding, but delicious comfort food.
We skipped dessert, as we were heading over to the aforementioned friends' house for dessert.
Hope & Olive is small and comfy. The staff is young, hip, and beautiful - and extremely nice. Their drink menu is gorgeous, and they have a separate tapas-style bar menu - which makes me want to go set up at the bar for a couple hours and just try different drinks and small plates. I can't wait to go back, I have a plan to systematically bring everyone I know just to have excusues to visit.