Sunday, December 14, 2008

Olga’s Fine Dining - Jackson

At the invitation of our broker, we braved the elements and made our way to Olga’s Fine Dining. Located in the same shopping center as the Habana Smoke Shop, this is one of those places that I’ve seen a dozen times and never thought to try. It was just my good luck that the family broker provided the perfect reason to try out Olga’s

Once you get past the small front room and the smell of the Habana Lounge, you’re greeted by a tiny dining room that is filled with dark furniture and a bright, gigantic mural. It all evens out in the end.

It might have been for the company Christmas party in the second half of the restaurant, but that night, we had Christmas carols by piano the entire night.

Even though Olga’s had left Rankin county because of the blue laws, it is still a byob restaurant. Thankfully, our broker, Mrs. Julie, brought the liquor: grey goose for her, jd for her husband Cole, and a bottle of Chateau La Nerthe for me and my dad.

With a small $4 corkage fee, the waitstaff at Olga’s is happy to open your wine. Since this was such a stout red, I asked the waiter for a decanter, and was told the house had none. I may not know much about Russian cuisine and customs, but if you’re going to be a steakhouse, you’d better carry at least one damn decanter.

Wine hindrances aside, the menu at Olga’s wasn’t expansive, rather very focused. If you didn’t like steak, fish, or a chicken breast, you’re pretty much sol. It’s a good thing that I enjoy all three of those proteins.

At the suggestion of the waiter, I tried the Russian pirogi with sautéed mushrooms and onions.

Our waiter told us these were the best appetizer on the menu, and I was a little unnerved by that. It seems that every time a waiter makes some dish into a superlative, I end up disappointed. This time was no exception. The dish didn’t carry any real flavor, and while I had expected a large, doughy dumpling, I got the exact opposite. Maybe this is the Russian take on the pirogi instead of the Polish, but when I think Pirogi, I expect enough dough to fill me up for days.

Having ordered a steak entrée, I was treated to a salad after the appetizer.

Nothing too exciting here; standard greens, sliced cherry tomatoes, and supermarket shredded cheese. Even though the dressing was well done, I wish people would spell things correctly. Spelling comeback as “kumback” isn’t cute or kitsch, it’s just annoying.

Call me a fool, but I again took the waiter’s suggestion and ordered the ribeye Odessa. It’s described as a 14-16 ounce rib eye with a sour cream mushroom sauce and asparagus.

This was a visually pleasing steak, and I was pleasantly surprised at the sour cream sauce. I had expecting something more tart, but it went extremely well with the rib eye, or the good parts of the rib eye.

Maybe I was just unlucky, as everyone else as the table finished their entire steak, but not me.

I seemed to have drawn the short straw and gotten the ribeye with extra fat and gristle. It’s not a good sign when the first bite is nothing but fat. True, ribeyes are known for their extra marbling, and I’m okay with that, but when there is a solid 3-4 oz chunk of fat on the end of the steak, that’s just unacceptable. That could have easily been trimmed before cooking.

The starch for the meal was a choice of roasted potatoes or grits. I had elected for the grits, and after some confusion with the server, I eventually got the right steak. The cheese grits were in need of salt and pepper but the grits went very well with the sour cream sauce and steak, I was not expecting that.

On the way out I was able to snap a picture of the kitchen at work.

That’s Yuriy, husband to Olga, hard at work. I think his food has great potential, and deserves a second try.

A second try, that sums up my visit to Olga’s. The wait staff is attentive to a fault, Olga comes to each table to make sure everything is going well, and the atmosphere is intimate, yet relaxing. I’m hoping that I was unlucky with my steak, and I want to give Olga’s another shot. I’m particularly interested in these “Russian nights” that I keep reading about.

For part two of Olga's Fine Dining, please click here

Olga's Restaurant on Urbanspoon


mickey1275 said...

My name is Tyler Avery and I eat at Olga's three to four times a week and I can say with great authority that your experience is not the typical experience. Olga and Yury work extremely hard to make each guest feel special and their food is excellent. Their menu is limited to the things they do best but I have eaten off menu events and have had no complaints at all.
I have eaten steak at Morton's, Bobby Vann's, Sparks, Peter Lugar's and others and I can attest that the fare at Olga's is very comparable. I am partial to the ribeye myself but the filet is excellent as well.
I am very sorry you did not have the same experience I have had there but I would love for you to try it again. In fact, if you would like to give me a call, I feel strongly enough about it that I will be happy to buy your meal there.
Thanks for your time and candor in your blog.

Tyler Avery

Cynical Cook said...

Mr. Avery,

Thanks for reading, and I appreciate your support for a local restaurant. Because of your support, I'll make sure to give Olga's another try.

Kate ( said...

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