July 17, 2012
Tamir Kalifa for The Boston Globe
Celebrity chef Todd English has reopened Olives, the Charlestown restaurant that put him on the culinary map. It was closed for two years following a grease fire and has now been renovated.
The new menu features clever presentations such as the "stuffed clam" English is preparing. It turns out to be a shell brimming with fried whole-belly clams over cornbread.
A perfect, tiny lobster roll is served with a jar of intensely rich lobster-corn chowder and potato chips dusted with Old Bay.
English prepared the lobster roll.
Some Olives classics no longer feel particularly fresh, but they often still taste pretty darn good. For instance: the beef carpaccio, busy with big flavors.
Marinated skirt steak is nicely cooked, served with short rib ravioli and corn pudding.
Olives executive chef James Klewin (left) and Joaquim Filho worked in the kitchen.
Among the desserts is a vanilla souffle, admirably lofty but too sugary. Olives also features sweets from Curly Cakes, the cupcake bakery that is a project of English's daughter, Isabelle.