Clintonville’s Olive & Thyme delivers a lengthy menu of Lebanese-Mediterranean cuisine

The amount of classes on the menu for Olive & Thyme Cafe stretches into double digits. Staring at that prolonged doc, I understood it would just take months to try to eat my way by it. Immediately after sampling quite a few of Olive & Thyme’s dishes, I’d gladly take that obstacle. 

a bunch of food on a plate: The small family platter at Olive & Thyme Cafe photographed on Wednesday, January 27, 2021. (Rob Hardin / Alive)

© Rob Hardin / Alive
The small relatives platter at Olive & Thyme Cafe photographed on Wednesday, January 27, 2021. (Rob Hardin / Alive)

Serving in Clintonville because November, Olive & Thyme occupies a significant and vibrant area that still resembles the Panera Bread branch it earlier housed. On the newcomer’s website, its food stuff is explained as “modern and conventional Lebanese-Mediterranean delicacies.” On a plate, the meals evokes this description: If you like the fare well prepared at Lavash Cafe (which is a pair of miles owing south on High Avenue), you are going to like the food items geared up at Olive & Thyme. 

There is a rationale for this: Olive’s chef-operator Rami Sabra is the former chef at Lavash, and Sabra’s core recipes haven’t adjusted substantially. Therefore, goods this kind of as Olive’s residence-designed strong pita-design and style bread and its flavorful shawarmas and kebabs will make sure you longtime Lavash fans (like me) guaranteed to acknowledge refreshing and healthful-leaning food reduce from the identical delicious cloth as Lavash’s

Olive gives superb values as nicely. In simple fact, the “small” family platter — an immense and excellent de facto buffet that could feed twice as many as the two to 3 diners it’s purportedly intended for — is one of the improved values all-around.   

a bowl of food on a plate: The veggie stew-like Lebanese moussaka with rice and salad

© Rob Hardin / Alive
The veggie stew-like Lebanese moussaka with rice and salad

The $45 deal involves generous portions of (a la carte costs are offered): clean and luxurious, lemon-brightened hummus ($4) tangy, carefully smoky and uncommonly abundant baba ghanoush ($4) juicy chargrilled rooster kebabs ($9) with genuine cookout flavor oversized sausage-like, crowd-pleasing rooster kafta ($9) and beef + lamb kafta kebabs ($9) boatloads of fragrant beef shawarma ($9) and tangy rooster shawarma ($9) additionally a fattoush salad ($9) designed with remarkable components that, sadly in my situation, hadn’t been thoroughly drained.

The phenomenal distribute includes accompaniments that make the feast even much more enjoyable to take in: a week’s offer of house bread ($4) and great saffron rice ($3.50) killer, salsa-like household warm sauce ($2.50) fluffy garlic sauce ($2.50) concentrated tahini sauce ($2.50) and home-pickled turnips ($2.50) with a horseradish-like kick.  

a plate of food: A veggie platter from Olive & Thyme

© Rob Hardin / Alive
A veggie platter from Olive & Thyme

Even though furthermore scrumptious and considerably from smaller, the Olive & Thyme veggie platter ($14) — which could be dinner for one hungry shopper or a marvelous shared appetizer — is significantly less extravagant. Conjuring a Mediterranean solution to the Japanese bento, it’s Olive’s exceptional hummus plus (a la carte charges are provided) a lemony, parsley-forward and refreshing tabbouleh salad ($9) to start with-charge falafel ($4) plus fantastic fried cauliflower ($9) whose all-natural and nutty sweetness was enlivened by lemon.

Olive’s shawarma and kafta kebab sandwiches ($8 each individual) will taste deliciously acquainted to Lavash patrons whether or not bound in pita or a toasted and thinner “wheat wrap.” But the remarkably proposed house burger ($12) will taste deliciously unique.

It was a juicy chargrilled patty with zesty seasoning on a toasted sesame seed roll with lettuce, tomato and a ketchup-and-mayo-tasting sauce. The burger comes with great companions: high-quality steak fries and a mayo-centered but energetic coleslaw.

a piece of cake and ice cream: Mocha cake, an enticing dessert

© Rob Hardin / Alive
Mocha cake, an enticing dessert

I also beloved the tomatoey veggie stew-like Lebanese moussaka ($14, with righteous vermicelli rice furthermore a good salad). If you’re only peckish, the peppery lentil soup ($3.50) was a perky-nevertheless-calming winter season warmer, and it is challenging to defeat Olive’s cheap dwelling-built fatayer — savory small pastry parcels — with cheese ($1), spinach ($1) or “meat” (tomatoey, crushed-meatball-like $1.50).  

Never sleep on desserts, such as the chewy, sweet and irresistible chocolate chip cookie ($2) the $1 farmor’s (Swedish almond-fashion) cookie and the attractive, light and inhalable mocha cake ($4 for each slice).

But Olive also offers Lebanese sausages (makanek, $14), a tomato-and-inexperienced-beans dish (loubia, $9), fried purple snapper ($20) and, nicely, I could almost certainly go on for months.

[email protected]

At a glance

Where: Olive & Thyme

Spot: 4519 N. Superior St., Clintonville

Make contact with: 614-826-3020,

This post originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Food items overview: Clintonville’s Olive & Thyme gives a lengthy menu of Lebanese-Mediterranean delicacies

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