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ovio redux


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there is another ovio thread, but the title is specific to lemony's experience, so i decided to start a different topic based on ovio's recent move to just south of the alaska junction.

we dressed as we would have for the old ovio, but felt foolishly overdressed in the new space where half the patrons wore jeans.

the new ovio is big. and LOUD. increasing their space 10-fold, and remodeling the former guppies-nee godfather's pizza space must have taken some ingenuity. but it fell a little flat with me. the open plan, (mostly) bare walls and painted exposed pipes create an urban loft-like feel. the small seated bar area, and large bar added to that feel. perhaps in an effort to soften the space, perhaps to simply cover the acres of ugly tile, the owners of ovio installed ugly, vegas-esque carpet, which (for me) pretty much killed the urban feel. the martini glass shaped sconces didn't help either. :blink:

after some flat prosecco, which our waiter was happy to change out for us - we got to the eating. honestly i think the food is better. much better, actually than it was before. my duck was very slightly overdone, but we lingered a bit over salad (roasted beet & blue cheese), so i'm willing to take reponsibility for that. the oysters (kumamoto) were perfect, with hardly a speck of shell, and rob's clam, mussel and rock shrimp saute was delicious and perfectly cooked. our typical finale of creme brulee was as consistently vanilla-y and well crusted as ever.

but it's not the same. this, for me, is a case where better food doesn't translate into a better experience. i'll definitely come back, but i'd almost certainly sit in the bar. i'll order less and might only have a glass of wine - not a bottle. it will be a (welcome) weeknight spot, but they've lost the intimacy that made it a romantic destination for us. I'm disappointed with what's left to me; a restaurant that tries to ignore the difference between neighborhood and downtown and therefore fails to nail either.

from overheard in new york:

Kid #1: Paper beats rock. BAM! Your rock is blowed up!

Kid #2: "Bam" doesn't blow up, "bam" makes it spicy. Now I got a SPICY ROCK! You can't defeat that!

--6 Train

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there is another ovio thread, but the title is specific to lemony's experience, so i decided to start a different topic based on ovio's recent move to just south of the alaska junction.

<snip>

but it's not the same. this, for me, is a case where better food doesn't translate into a better experience. i'll definitely come back, but i'd almost certainly sit in the bar. i'll order less and might only have a glass of wine - not a bottle. it will be a (welcome) weeknight spot, but they've lost the intimacy that made it a romantic destination for us. I'm disappointed with what's left to me; a restaurant that tries to ignore the difference between neighborhood and downtown and therefore fails to nail either.

Last Friday was my first time at Ovio. It's definitely a food experience because the rest of the experience is LOUD. LOUD. LOUD. Made me want to go hide out at Ruth's Chris steakhouse or somewhere similarly muted. Once I gave up on hearing what anyone said (one of the other folks at the table was my mother-in-law, so maybe I shouldn't be complaining!) the food was quite enjoyable. My scallops were downright delicious (high quality of the scallops as much as the cooking) and the fish dishes two other folks let me sample (seared tuna was one) were distinctive and delightful. The Caesar salad was...well, a creative take on Caesar, to be sure. I'd go back for the food, but only with someone I knew well enough that I didn't have to talk much.

Editor of Take Control of Thanksgiving Dinner, a Take Control series ebook.

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Karen,

you never made it to the "old" ovio? i have high hopes for whatever they put into that space. it's a lovely size. i just hope they don't go too casual/family. no disrespect intended, but there's just not much i can walk to - and i'd love for one option to be...adult.

i miss the old ovio. :sad:

from overheard in new york:

Kid #1: Paper beats rock. BAM! Your rock is blowed up!

Kid #2: "Bam" doesn't blow up, "bam" makes it spicy. Now I got a SPICY ROCK! You can't defeat that!

--6 Train

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I'll be curious to see what goes in the old Ovio space as well. They've indicated something less expensive and more casual, but exactly what that means remains to be seen.

The Dude and I had dinner with friends there last week, and we were all distracted by the noise level. With the industrial decor and din, I felt like I was at the latest Belltown hotspot. The food was generally thought to be quite good, though one of the party did not enjoy it at all.

That said, I'd go back and eat at the bar sometime, like reesek. Just not for a romantic or conversational evening.

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  • 5 weeks later...
Just a reminder - Ovio is providing the Evening at Boomtown dinner in April - on the 20th. $20 (or more generously), three courses, goes to a good cause. Wines available.

This was incredibly generous of Ovio.

Lush corn and crab chowder with serrano ham (or mixed greens salad with goat cheese and fried onions for veg)

Giant portion of smoked hanger steak with yukon gold potatos and asparagus (or equally big pillow style raviolo filled with ricotta and fresh peas with pea vines, mint pesto and lemon sauce for veg)

Everyone got individual warm chocolate + dulce cakes with pecan ice cream for dessert.

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  • 1 year later...

Scrat and I went to Ovio last night due to the 'Dine for Darfur' event they were participating in. It was our first visit and I came away fairly impressed. Since the mains didn't really grab us, we did a series of apps/salad instead. Started with Kobe beef potstickers (tasty, as a potsticker should be), then the blue corn calamari with habanero tartar sauce and green chile vinaigrette. Excellently prepared calamari and the vinaigrette (more of a puree, really) was outstanding. With the calamari, we had the ensalada de jamon, good but over-peppered and then finished with panko crusted sweetbreads with seared foie, in a blue cheese cream sauce. I ordered this partly out of morbid curiosity, not imagining that blue cheese and offal could really go together, but I was sorely mistaken, a fantastic sauce and sublime dish. Maybe the best sweetbreads I've had.

Instead of dessert, we went across the street to Mashiko and had sushi. :shock:

Most women don't seem to know how much flour to use so it gets so thick you have to chop it off the plate with a knife and it tastes like wallpaper paste....Just why cream sauce is bitched up so often is an all-time mytery to me, because it's so easy to make and can be used as the basis for such a variety of really delicious food.

- Victor Bergeron, Trader Vic's Book of Food & Drink, 1946

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  • 3 months later...
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