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Olive Oil Trading Co.

Restaurants
By Andra Kunstberga. 16.01.2013

Olive Oil Trading Co.

Save to foursquare Pils laukums 4, Riga Mobile: 2953 3523
Email: bar@olive-oil.lv
Web: http://olive-oil.lv
Working hours: Mon-Fri 10.00 - 24.00, Sat-Sun 11.00 - 24.00,

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Recently relocated from the other end of the Old Town to a spot directly opposite Riga Castle, Olive Oil Trading Co. is an efficient, experienced, and fairly atmospheric restaurant that deserves a place among Riga’s best spots for Italian-inspired cuisine.

 

Less formal and self-important than, say, Ottella or Monterosso, the prices here are accordingly lower but the food quality remains high. The most expensive dishes, such as lamb steak or beefsteak (€18 each) will not leave guests disappointed, while longstanding Italian favorites like mozzarella salad are presented with panache.

Olive Oil Trading Co. is one of the Old Town’s best options for business lunch, served on working days between 12.00 and 16.00. Breakfast is served from opening time, while later on working days, from 16.00 till 18.00, a two-drinks-for the-price-of-one happy hour ensures that locals carry on their meetings here instead of at the office. A curtained “hush-hush room” is available if secrecy is preferred.

The happy hour applies mainly to cocktails and the house wine. When we visited, a moreish cabernet sauvignon and merlot blend, Sollazzo, from the slopes of Umbria, was being served as the house red at €1.70 a glass.

The business-lunch menu when we called in offered creamed vegetable soup with grain bread, apple salad with white-wine sauce and Parmigiano, pork medallions and mashed potato and red-wine sauce, and ice cream with marzipan and berry sauce. Not overly ostentatious or absolutely Italian, the lunch was nevertheless delicious – and good value (main plus one other dish, €5.70; main plus two, €7.20; all four dishes, €8.50).

A la carte, there’s a choice of pizza – the base and all breads are made in-house – pasta, and a fine tiramisu for dessert. Salads are good here too, such as the romaine lettuce salad with anchovy sauce (€4.50) and a crowd-pleasing Greek salad. The Italian cheese and meat platters are tasty accompaniments to an evening’s wine drinking, and hot wine is medicinal on icy nights.

The atmosphere may feel a little cool during the day but warms up of an evening. Atmosphere, after all, is best created by us visitors ourselves. Countless images line the walls in the form of paintings, black-and-white photos of Italy, and a rather stunning fresco of an idyllic classical landscape with reclining nudes. It completes the picture of a pleasantly warm spell spent away from the Baltic cold.

 

Andrea 25.01.2013 11:38

My favourite italian in Riga, I'm happy it's open again, added to my "must visit" list for the next weekend! :)

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