Olive and Lemon

119 Harbord St. Toronto
416 – 923-3188


Judging by its name, I was not particularly enthralled to dine here for my brother’s and his girlfriend’s birthdays. Not that there is anything wrong with these two ingredients per se (the olive and lemon NOT my brother and his girlfriend!). It’s just that the combination doesn’t sound particulary interesting either. If the restaurant was called Chili and Chipotle that would be a different story…. though that sounds too much like a cheesy Mexican rip off a la Carlos and Pepe’s.

Regardless of the food and service which were both decent; sitting outside on the patio on a beautiful late summer Sunday evening was what made the meal enjoyable. Our waiter started off very well, recalling a long list of the specials of the day with a certain panache that left everyone at our table gushing over him. The menu was extensive, featuring many pasta dishes and a few meat and fish dishes. There were several appetizers, and we decided to share the usual family fave, grilled calamari as well as the shrimp crostini special. Both dishes were tasty yet meagre. The lack of shrimp is not surprising; however the amount of squid was dissapointing.

For my main, I had the grilled salmon served on a bed of arugala with grilled pears adorning the side of the plate. I don’t recall exactly what the salmon was seasoned with but it was fine and was grilled just about right. I found the pears to be the only creative part of the evening and a successful addition to an otherwise typical entree. I should not forget to mention the wine which we ordered; the cheapest on the menu but quite good nonetheless. For dessert, we shared a triple decadent chocolate cake which was not anything special at all.

I found the service, which started off excellently, to get worse as the meal progressed. At one point we asked for a refill on waters which took about 10 minutes. Also after our meal was finished and taken away I had to ask another waiter to send ours to tell us about dessert.

I found everything about Olive and Lemon to be average. From the name to the food to the service.