Restaurant review: Oliva, Italian and Mediterranean cuisine, a standout after 13 years

Nov 19, 2021 278

Some of my favorite local restaurants have been combination Mediterranean-Italian places like Oliva (“olive” in Italian), on Madison’s Far West Side. I had long been curious if it still lived up to the meals I had there when I reviewed it in January 2009, a month after it opened.

“Service is fast and friendly, the prices are extremely reasonable, and there are so many choices, you could conceivably eat here once a week for a year and not get bored,” I wrote then, and could say the same thing nearly 13 years later. When a friend and I walked in, the big, sprawling restaurant — owner Mehmet Dayi says it’s 4,100 square feet and can seat about 100 people — had more customers than we expected at 6 p.m. on a Wednesday and was about half full.

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