The end of the year is nearing and with this thought in mind I decided to plan a little get-together with my nieces and nephews coming January. Grabbing a bite to eat, having a drink and catching-up sounds like a nice way to start the new year. Will restaurant Oliver in Gullegem (Belgium) be the place where we will meet up?
The events of the past few years have again shown how important family is. And still, little by little we each go our own ways, only hearing from each other when things are bad, only meeting on holidays or when saying goodbye to one of ours. Life is short and I want to share more time with those closest and dearest to me. So starting 2016, I hope we will each year celebrate the new year together.
Finding a place to meet was on top of my to-do list last week and so I booked us a table at restaurant Oliver on Friday evening, just to try it out. The sacrifices one has to make… 😉 The pictures on their website looked very promising; information was short and to the point.
Arriving at the restaurant at 7PM on the dot, we were surprised to find it quite busy already. Entering the restaurant, we were immediately immersed in the intimate setting of the place. People were settled on the couches in the bar for a pre-dinner drink and a lonely few were already at their tables. The restaurant oozed coziness and warmth.
After our coats were taken we started with a pre-dinner drink, accompanied by two delicious appetizers. First impression: oooh yah! 🙂
Half an hour later, we were led to our table at the back of the restaurant. This area was again nicely decorated in warm, earthy tones and the fireplace on one side of the room made me want to curl up on a sofa with a good book and a warm drink.
For the first part of the evening, everything went smoothly: courses followed at a tranquil pace, the waitresses were very attentive and guests were happily chatting. The food was delicious, and although it was not as refined as I had expected (bowls of fries and vegetables on the table), there was more than enough on our plates to satisfy our hunger.
But after the main course, things took a small downturn. It took a little over 45 minutes before dessert was brought to our tables. Ok, we were partly glad we got some time to digest the main course but while waiting for dessert, small (and some bigger) details came to our attention. Tables are placed very close together so we could easily follow our friendly neighbors’ conversation. Well, I guess if I had wanted, I could probably have rubbed my neighbor’s nose from where I was sitting. We were that close! And then there was this table where two dogs were snuggled up on the floor. Dogs in a restaurant are a big NO NO for me (unless of course they are guide dogs)!
I guess somewhere between our main course and dessert, something must have gone wrong or maybe there were just too many guests at a certain point but it did annoy us a bit to be kept wait so long. Especially when at the end of the evening, we had to go find our coats ourselves. Hmmm, disappointing end.
Restaurant Oliver is a nice place to grab an informal bite to eat. The interior is decorated in a warm and inviting way. But there are still some small details that could enhance the dining experience such as giving guests a bit more space on (bowls of fries and vegetables) and around the tables and a no-dogs policy. Prices are correct: we ended up spending around €60 per person (€40 for the 3-course meal). I am not sure yet if I will give them another chance and book a table for nine in January or not. I am still thinking about it.
My score: 7,5/10
Next week: going to Night of the Proms with colleagues