The reopening of Olives by Todd English could have turned things around for the chef's endangered Boston legacy, but according to Globe critic Devra First it has done just the opposite. Per her review, the reopening only confirms that these are troubled times for English, who has recently been sued for $1 million dollars, accused of vandalizing historic property, and who named an oyster after himself and had a brick thrown at his Charlestown restaurant. Here's some highlights from the review.
· "A $52 version of steak frites features soggy fries and an immense tomahawk steak that fails to deliver immense beef flavor."
· "Salmon with artichoke barigoule is barely edible — an overcooked piece of fish crowned with gummy, flavorless stuffing, the artichokes prepared in a broth that tastes like kitchen scraps and dishwater."
· "Maybe it’s a fluke, but on subsequent visits, English is absent. The food is much better."
· "So perhaps English should keep doing what he seems to enjoy more: appearing on TV, spending his time in bigger, faster-paced cities, and leaving Charlestown’s Olives in the hands of the people who are here every day."
· "One night, no matter how many times we yell 'FLUKE CRUDO!,' our waiter hears 'tortelli,' which is what we get."
· "Of course, Olives features sweets from Curly Cakes, the cupcake bakery that is a project of English’s daughter, Isabelle. Why pass up a chance for cross-promotion?"
· "Always, however, the menu is splattered with misspellings, nine on the most recent visit. This is eating out, not school, but it makes the restaurant look amateurish."