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updated: Sep 18, 2010, 9:45 AM
By Ms. Lemonjelly
I was out of town at the beginning of the month. Just before I left, I was able to lunch at Olio Pizzeria, the latest eatery from the folks of Olio e Limone downtown. It's located where Video Schmideo once was (*sniff* R.I.P.) and redecorated with detailed stone and woodwork. It's designed to be a casual atmosphere, but is suitable for business lunches or after work meet-ups.
We ordered several appetizers to share, and a pizza or calzone for each at the table. The appetizers included a trio of olives, an order of spicy olives, baked beets with crushed pistachios and shaved cheese, and asparagus with a poached egg. We enjoyed all of these very much, especially the asparagus with oozy yolk that became a dipping sauce.
As for the pizza, two were variations of tomato, mozzarella, basil and anchovies, and since they didn't look different, I'm only showing one photo to represent both. A third pizza was carbonara, and I thought it looked lovely, with another oozy yolk egg right in the middle. We also ordered a calzone (not pictured), which was very rustic looking, with a blistered and scorched top. They were all around $15 each.
In checking out other reviews of the new restaurant, folks have noted that the pizza was often doughy in the center, and ours were similar. The carbonara pizza, being creamy to begin with, had the most structural difficulties and was best eaten with knife and fork.
One unexpected treat, of which I was the lucky recipient, was being served the pizza on the "brown plate" out of a random stack of mostly white plates. That meant my pizza was free!
With that discount, the bill for four people at lunch was over $100, including maybe a couple sodas and water as beverages. Not a bargain, but in retrospect, a pizza was generous for one person and we boxed up at least a third of the pizzas to take home. In the future, just one pizza can serve two people, and then more indulgences can be made with the appetizer menu - which we enjoyed more for this lunch - and that will cut down a little of a price.
When we were there during the workweek, the whole restaurant was packed. Arriving at the beginning of the food service is recommended!
11 West Victoria Street Suite 21
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
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