The school cafeteria has nothing on this tapas restaurant.
Oliva, a new Spanish restaurant by chef Franklin Becker, is adjacent to Manhattanville Market, which is within Columbia University’s Jerome L. Greene Science Center, but the offerings are far from university fare.
The lively, fun West Harlem spot serves premium products sourced directly from Spain, showcasing shareable dishes with modern interpretations to whisk you across the Atlantic in just a few small bites.
Oliva’s menu, developed with Chef de Cuisine Chris Strelnick, highlights cured meats, Embutidos, along with a variety of queso, a frio y ambiente section and finishes with a selection of calida y caliente. For non-hispanohablantes, that’s cold and hot dishes.
Standout dishes from the Fall 2021 opening menu include a mackerel and blood orange crudo, Serrano ham croquetas, crab fideos and a Soccarat, or seafood rice, for two. For dessert, a crema Catalana presents a creamy Barcelonian twist on more familiar creme brulee.
The beverage menu, designed by mixologist Eamon Rockey, offers beverages from regions around Spain, local New York beers, ciders and spirits, plus cocktails designed to emulate the easygoing European lifestyle. There is, of course, sangria, as well as Spanish-style gin and tonics, with fresh and dried botanicals, and plenty of fortified wines, like sherry and vermouth.
Live music nights help fill the floor-to-ceiling glass space with joy and celebration, and the restaurant serves as a nice pitstop for a drink and cheese plate before dinner or a full-on gathering hall for group celebrations.
Oliva offers both indoor and outdoor dining and is open Tuesday through Thursday, 5pm-10pm, Friday and Saturday from 5pm-11pm and Sundays from 5pm-10pm. Reservations are accepted through Resy or by phone, 917-522-0391.