By Abby Montanez and Victoria Keenan
Last week, we announced the opening of Olivella restaurant in North Bergen and this week, we had the pleasure of dining at what’s soon to be a Hudson County hotspot. Standing out from its neighboring Bergenline Ave businesses, Olivella’s wooden facade and brick interior made us feel like we had been transported to Italy. Centered around the wood-burning pizza oven and complete with rustic detailing, an open kitchen and back room with a domed glass ceiling, there was a lot to see (and eat) during our visit.
As soon as we were seated we were given a choice of a complimentary glass of either red or white wine, a considerate gesture as they’re still working on getting their liquor license. While looking through the menu, our meal was started with a plate of oil and ricotta cheese, accompanied by warm, crispy flatbread. While enjoying the appetizer, we were served sushi di parma, an Italian take on a Japanese technique. Served on a wooden plate and a hearty pile of arugula drizzled with balsamic, the “sushi” was stuffed with prosciutto, more arugula and rolled in housemade fior di latte. Next were two tuna appetizers, the tartara di olivella, which featured tuna and salmon, avocado, micro salad and a lemon champagne dressing, and the tuna carpaccio special, with thin slices of tuna topped with capers and arugula salad drizzled with lemon and oil.
For the main course, we had half white, half margherita pizza, served on a plate the length of both of our arms (we measured). Isn’t that how all pizza should be served? All of the pizzas at Olivella restaurant are made with the freshest ingredients including housemade cheese, dough and are cooked in a wood-fire brick oven. We also tried their pasta special which was crab stuffed ravioli in a cream sauce, a definite favorite of the night considering we cleaned the plate.
And because what’s dinner without dessert? We tried the chocolate salami which was topped with mascarpone cheese and honey and the tiramisu which came in a decorative glass and sprinkled with cocoa powder. Besides the delicious pizza, entrées, and dessert, service was quick and friendly, refilling water and changing out plates with every serving. And while an Italian pizza place might not be the first thing you think of when dining out in North Bergen, Olivella restaurant brings a new perspective to Hudson County.