Olive and June—Creative food and great patio!

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Last weekend was a busy food weekend for us. We popped into Olive and June on Saturday afternoon to have a drink at the bar, but decided to stay for dinner when we learned that the outside patio was opening seating. The restaurant is located in the old “El Arbol” restaurant space on 38th Street near Seton Medical Center. They have free valet parking right now so take advantage of it!

The patio at Olive and June is one of the best in Austin. With a huge tree in the middle of the patio and a wall that blocks some of the traffic from 38th St, it is very peaceful. We ordered the Poggio Basso Chianti, a 2009 Tuscan wine. I have to say it was not a favorite. Although a decent price at $34 a bottle the wine was boring. It didn’t have any real depth and didn’t pair well with the food. There were other nice Italian and Californian wines on the menu that I will try the next time I go.

The food was outstanding. I don’t have anything to add. The menu is composed of small plate options, salads, and entrees. I started with the zucchini involtini which was zucchini wrapped mushrooms in a tomato sauce with pine nuts and golden raisins. It was divine! Next was the mushroom and red wine risotto topped with capers, radishes, and parsley. The risotto was cooked perfectly, mushrooms were earthy but not overwhelming, and the radishes added a fresh element to a heavy dish. My fiancé ordered the rigatone and meat ragu with dried cherries and topped with mint. Perfect.

I only have a few suggestions for Olive and June and I am sure these are basic “opening” issues that will smooth out. First, we were given dirty menus. Because the menus are paper and absorb everything they need to be checked every day. Second, it was difficult to find the door to the restaurant as there are several doors that looked to be the entrance. Perhaps a decorative sign could be placed on the correct door.

Other than that, I cannot wait to go back and try more small plates and new wines at Olive and June!