134 Hampshire St, Cambridge, MA | Directions 0213942.370624 -71.097224
Sun-Thurs 5:30-10pm; Fri-Sat 5:30-11pm
Neighborhoods: Area IV
Oleana: Flavors of Turkey and the Mediterranean – The food at Oleana is exceptional. Everything has several layers of spices and flavors that all work amazingly well together and each bite exposes new tastes.
The food is unique and fresh and perfectly balanced. In the summer many come for the gorgeous garden, and even on a cool night the lamps keep you warm and blankets are on hand to fight the chill.
Everyone deserves to eat at least one meal here in their life.
Amazing Vegetarian Tasting Menu – After wanting to try Oleana for a long time, I finally got my wish! My boyfriend and I were lucky enough to score a table on the patio for a terrific spring evening meal!
Because we both wanted to try a little of everything, we decided to split the Vegetarian Tasting Menu plus a couple of appetizers. At our waitress's recommendation, we ordered the Lamb & Eggplant Dumpling with Garlic Yogurt & Everything Green and the Spinach Falafel with Tahini, Yogurt, Beets & Cress. Both were absolutely delicious!
Our tasting menu started off with a Cucumber Spoon Salad with Sorrel Ice, which was one of the most unique and refreshing dishes I've ever had--perfect for a warm spring evening! After that they brought grilled asparagus with a honeydew melon salsa and goat cheese. This was hands down my favorite course! Next came a dish of fried zucchini in a creamy tomato sauce. Scrumptious! And then Spicy Fideos & Chick Peas with Green Chard & Orange Aioli. This dish was very complex and almost overpowering. It was actually my least favorite of the tasting, but at that point I was so full I could barely eat another bite--that was, of course, until our dessert came! Sesame Ice Cream, Sesame Cashew Bar & Roasted Pineapple with Pineapple Granité --Oh my god, was I in heaven? I almost swiped the entire plate and at the entire thing myself, it was that good!
For all that, two glasses of wine and two bottles of sparkling water, our bill only came to just over $100! I thought it was a very reasonable price for everything we ate! I would absolutely recommend this restaurant to everyone!
My favorite restaurant – Sit on the patio in the summer and be transported to Europe. Freshest locally sourced ingredients, wonderful staff and amazing Mediterranean food. Love it!
Exotic Mediterranean flavors contribute to one of the city's most innovative menus. – The Scene
Located on a quiet residential street, just off Inman Square, Oleana is the restaurant of choice for Cambridge's bookish, professional types. While reservations are taken (and are a must) for the romantic, earth-toned dining room, those hoping to dine on the lovely garden patio usually join a waiting list and pass the time with a drink in the intimate bar. Service, though consistently knowledgeable and friendly, is often stretched when the patio's open.
Chef-owner Ana Sortun delves into the ingredients and methods of Armenia, Egypt and Morocco to take diners on a uniquely palatable journey. Typical is an appetizer of fried mussels and hot peppers with nutty Turkish tarator sauce, or an entree of Sicilian swordfish with couscous and rhubarb jam. Don't leave before trying one of acclaimed pastry chef Maura Kilpatrick's inventive creations, like Baked Alaska with coconut ice cream and passion fruit caramel.
Pure perfection! – The experience I had at Oleana was truly divine! The evening started by chatting with a friendly floor manager (who kindly explained to us the phone line problem that particular evening, which made reservations a bit complicated, but not impossible). While waiting for our table, me and my date enjoyed a lovely glass of wine from the bar area in the back. The restaurant itself is small, cozy, and so comfortable, almost as if you're in a large dining room of a wealthy friend who also has an excellent, reserved, practical sense of decor and design. Our table was placed in a nook at the southwest corner of the restaurant. While it was a little close to the people to my left, the area was extremely romantic, and so perfect for the evening!
All in all the food was surprisingly delicate, fresh, and flavorful! For the pret a manger, we had the spicy carrot puree and the Armenian bean and walnut pate. The pate sounds so simple, yet it is one of the most divine meal experiences I have ever had the pleasure to receive! Then for the appetizer, we had crab cakes with egg lemon sauce. I like the crab cakes, but the egg lemon sauce was a bit thick and bland. For the entree, I had the scallops, which were absolutely perfect. Extremely flavorful and the perfect tenderness. The waitstaff was friendly and professional!! All in all, what a perfect experience!!
Outstanding service, ambience, and appetizers - Entrees didn't quite stack up – I took my girlfriend here to celebrate our anniversary and on the whole I cannot say we were disappointed.
I had booked the reservation through opentable and requested that if at all possible, we'd love seating on the patio. We were initially seated in the main dining room but the hostess soon came over (without our prompting her) to offer an outside table that had just opened up. We eagerly took her up on it and were pleased to be seated outdoors where it was romantically lit and very peaceful.
Our waitress was excellent in making recommendations from the menu for food and drink. We loved both our pret a manger (warm buttered hummus) as well as our lettuce-wrapped duck appetizer, a special from that night. Both dishes were elegant and extremely flavorful without feeling overwhelming. The meal went a bit awry when we received our entrees - the apps set the bar quite high and the entrees simply didn't stack up. The trout special I ordered was not bad at all but was somewhat vapid when compared to the apps. The same can be said of the veal and parmesan meatballs my girlfriend ordered.
The meal was capped off by an unexpected and delightful surprise as our waitress brought us two bon-bons with a candle and wished us a happy anniversary. She did this only because I mentioned in the e-reservation that we were celebrating our anniversary that night and I had hoped they would help make it a memorable evening. It was a very thoughtful gesture and who doesn't appreciate it when a restaurant strives to go the extra mile like that? We also appreciated being allowed to sit outdoors for quite some time after finishing our meal and work on our wine. I know this doesn't take extra effort from the restaurant but plenty of places hurry you out at the meal's conclusion.
We were a bit underwhelmed by the entrees but enjoyed the restaurant as a whole, certainly enough to give them a second chance.
Total Bummer – After having been to Oleana once before I was extremely excited to go again. Unfrotunately my second visit left alot to be desired. I ordered the special (which was the pork chop) and my date ordered the flattened chicken with za'atar. His chicken was grizzly and chewy and my pork chop was so dry it was like eating sand. I was happy I ordered a glass of wine to wash it down with!!! To top it off....it was 25 bucks a plate (which I don't mind paying if the food is good.) I am really sad to say I wont be going back and will discontinue recommending it to my family and friends :(
Poor Service, Snobby, Hold the hair – My girlfriend and I went to Oleana for our two-year anniversary because it came highly recommended by a friend. It seems like this place lives on hype, because our experience did not match our expectations in the least. I must admit that the food was very innovative, and featured combinations of flavors that I had never tasted. But where the food was inventive, the service lacked. I would only suggest the appetizers - we had the Sultan's Delight, and the hummus.The menu is very small, so I felt obligated to order one of the specials, a seared venison with beets and a huckleberry sauce. I didn't realize that once we ordered our entrees that it would take 45 minutes (following our appetizers being packed away) for our food to come. Yes, that means that it took this kitchen a full-hour to prepare our entrees. During this waiting period, our waiter did not once ask us how we were doing, or even attempt an excuse for how long the food was taking. When we finally did get our main courses, (her's was the swordfish, which does SOUND appetizing), the venison was just a shade over room temperature. THIS NEXT PART MIGHT GROSS YOU OUT. I can usually forgive poor service (although in this case, the restaurant was not full, nor were the chefs in a rush), but combining poor service with poorly prepared food should not be tolerated. The swordfish dish arrived, and my beautiful, unassuming girlfriend discovered a a long strand of hair which had been hidden in the spinach (?) Now, the restaurant is pretty dimly-lit, so she was not fortunate enough to have seen it before having to feel the strand of SOMEONE ELSE'S HAIR DRAPED OVER HER TONGUE. Had our waiter been any more understanding, the mistake could have been forgivable, but to have held a rather unconcerned gaze as he asked, "oh, hmm, would you like me to have them make another?" is almost as disgusting as an unsanitary kitchen. Needless to say, we did not have them prepare another, we did not feel like waiting another hour.
Strange flavors get in the way – We were back to Oleana for a fourth visit, even though our first 3 meals were not particularly good. We just couldn't seem to convince ourselves that with all the hype, we hadn't just ordered wrong on our first tries. But this time our meal even was more disappointing than before. It isn't that we fear strong or interesting flavors. Our group of four dine out frequently in and around Boston. But these flavors just don't taste very good. Two of us had the swordfish entree, which sounded good on the menu, but was too unpalatable to finish. It consisted of a timbale of mushy elbow macaroni, on a flattened swordfish pancake. How could a restaurant do that to swordfish? No one at the table finished their entree, but everyone was still hungry afterward. We ended up walking to Christine's Ice Cream in Inman Square, where we all enjoyed our ice cream, much more than we had our pricey dinner.
Really Delicious, Comfortable, Unique in Boston – This is a one of a kind in Boston. The food is absolutely delicious and unique. The menu changes but everything is good especially the "Devil Style Eggs" and the "Sultans Plate" The atmosphere is warm and comfortable; you can see the kitchen staff cooking and the servers are very nice. It's always busy so you really need to think ahead if you plan to go. If you chose to go by yourself you can eat at the bar. They have biodynamic and organic wines which are great. This place is a must for people visiting and Boston/Cambridge is luck to have such great food. I eat here at least twice a month for over three years now.
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