Manhattanville Market - Spanish tapas restaurant Oliva is now - Open! - AmNews Curtain Raiser


Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Manhattanville Market - Spanish tapas restaurant Oliva is now - Open!


Embutidos (cured meats) 

Renowned chef Franklin Becker has opened his full-service Spanish tapas restaurant Oliva located adjacent to Manhattanville Market within Columbia University’s Jerome L. Greene Science Center, the new restaurant concept provides a fun, engaging culinary showcase of classic Spanish tapas in the heart of West Harlem.

Providing a mix of traditional Spanish dishes alongside creative reimaginations, Oliva offers a diverse and intriguing menu to share, connect, and enjoy - whether over a selection of tapas complemented by drinks, or a full sit-down meal. A collaboration between Chef Becker and Chef de Cuisine, Chris Strelnick, the menu begins with Embutidos (cured meats) selections of Cinco Jotas Jamons, and chorizo, various Queso including goat, sheep, and cow, and Frio y Ambiente; with highlights including Atun Crudo of raw tuna, capers, olives, and citrus, Montaditos - mini tartines - and the Huevos Diabólicos - Chef Becker’s spin on deviled eggs, topped with the traditional flavors of peppers and anchovies. The Calida y Caliente section offers even more variety, such as the selection of Croquetas filled with chorizo, Serrano ham, or salt cod, seafood plates such as Gambas Al Ajillo, and Chorizo Al Vino.


At Oliva, the menu exhibits a unique spin on Soccarat, cooking the paella base traditionally before cutting out a portion, pan-frying the outside to crisp, and topping with additional seafood and salsa verde - the result is creamy, crispy, offering bursts of classic flavor notes. Additional plates to note are Arrachera with Cabrales cheese and onions and Chef Becker’s twist on Pollo Con Salsa Pimiento, chicken with a pepper sauce that utilizes both pureed and whole peppers. Showstoppers include Calamar ala Espetada with olives, potatoes, peppers, and salsa verde, and the Pulpo Gallego ala Espetada, with potatoes, peppers, and onions - both served on a hanging espetada hook for stunning table presentation. The Cerdo Presa uses acorn-fed Ibérico de Belotta pork shoulder, cooked medium rare and highlighted with romesco sauce. Throughout the menu, only premium-level, traditional brands of Spain including Cinco Jotas, Ibéricos COVAP, and Redondo Iglesias are used.

Oliva’s beverage menu highlights a range of curated Spanish inspirations in both wine and spirits, as well as beers from a handful of local breweries throughout New York. Five draft lines, along with bottles, provide beer, cider, and seasonal sangria on tap. The wine list, showcasing select Spanish regions, offers by-the-glass and bottles of Sparkling, Red, White, Rosé, Dry Sherry, and Sweet. In addition to sourcing, the selection of wines, the esteemed Eamon Rockey (Betony and atera etc.) developed the cocktail menu. A few to note include Pisco Punch with Caravedo Pisco, pineapple, citrus, and cava, Oliva’s Sangria, a house signature with rosé, blanco tequila, Rockey’s Liqueur, and Bruto Americano, the Sherry Cobbler with Amontillado sherry, white rum, and herbal liqueur, as well as In & Out with Finger Lakes Distilling Gin, sweet vermouth, and Forthave RED.

Approachable, spirited, and fun, Oliva welcomes guests in with floor-to-ceiling windows and a lively open atmosphere. Lofty indoor seating options include 11 seats at the bar, 76 seats via individual tables and welcoming booths, as well as the weather-permitting outdoor patio area that seats 32. Live music, performed by local musicians and talent, will be hosted twice a month.

Oliva’s hours will be 5-10PM Tuesday through Thursday, 5-11PM Friday and Saturday, and 5-10PM Sundays with lunch service to follow at a later date.

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