Greek One Hat Wonder
When a bunch of marketers get together and one happens to be Greek – anything can happen. Not only great ideas, but in this particular case, even better food.
L’Oliver is a restaurant in the third district of Paris and is run by a Greek family who have just been given One Hat by the Michellin Guide. Affordable food, great atmosphere and not too imposing for those of us who tire of eating at the high end of town.
The food is to die for. Commencing with a starter of Fromage Chypriote au Lait de brebis poele sesame and miel au safran (Fried goats cheese with saffron honey and sesame), followed by Croussillant d’ aubergines en feuillete, viande de boeuf and bechamel a la mozzarello (eggplant gratin in leaf of crust, beef mince meat and mozzarello) and completed by an orgasmic special chocolate mousse with blueberries, the menu in spectacular.
Our table could not stop raving about how good the food is and for Paris, it is incredibly affordable.
The problem is that no-one knows this restaurant exists. The chef is a food scientist with his appetite for creative food combinations that leave your mouth watering.
The business is in a bad location and has never been promoted until the faithful day that a Michellin reviewer came in. Now, of course, this is all about to change with the new guide coming out in early 2010.
Why do some restaurants succeed whilst others fail even when their food and service is second to none?
The answer is marketing and location. Located close to Republique on the Boulevard de Temple, L’Oliver is quaint with many personal touches. But for some, not as conveniently located as it could be.
Vassilis Alexiou, the chef, is kind, respected and immensely talented. His wife, who tends to the restaurants customers works hard and is committed to every single person in the restaurant.
They are for now, the small guy but in time thanks to a chance meeting and subsequent review, they won’t be a hidden secret but instead the Greek Restaurant of choice in Paris.
Go visit next time you are in town. It’s a must see and do experience in Paris that you will not regret.