olea - New Haven

4.7
634 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Spanish
In the heart of downtown New Haven, Connecticut, Olea offers an innovative interpretation of Spanish and Mediterranean cuisine. Chef Manuel Romero and his team explore these flavors in their food, wine, and cocktails, locally sourcing many products and importing specialty items from the Mediterranean region.
What 634 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.6
service
4.6
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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C
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 2food 4service 2ambience 3

Food is excellent, but the service time was incredibly slow. Came in at 7:45 with a reservation, ordered by 8:15pm, and didn't receive our mains (squid ink pasta and duck) until 9:30pm. The tables beside us entered after we did and were able to finish their meal before we did. The food was excellent, but we were very disappointed by the service time.

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HS
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 2

Bad service, tasteless food. forgot to serve one of the dishes, long delay. blamed problems on computer (after being lied to by waiter who claimed delay was intentional to make our dinning experience "better".

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YY
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

The Valentine’s Day menu is just so-so. It didn’t worth the money.

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SL
New York Area
1 review
Dined on February 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding food, excellent service!

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O
1 review
Dined on February 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Very attractive interior design, lots of grays and modern clean look. However, it was surprisingly very loud. The food is amazing, but the menu is somewhat eclectic, with rabbit and duck etc. The service was very good, but not as quick as I would have liked in delivering drinks or noticing our glasses were empty. Had they been faster, we would have drunk more.

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JM
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Terrific dinner. The food was amazing. We had duck, fish of the day, and the suckling pig, as well as a selection of appetizers. Every bite was perfection. Would happily return to this lovely place!

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TF
New England
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food is outstanding! The chef is so creative. The staff is very friendly. This is fine dining for sure.

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Pre-concert dinner.

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T
New York Area
32 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Dinner for my husband’s birthday. Everything was great. Service was great

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AB
1 review
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was outstanding and the service was great. The wine selection was very nice.

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DK
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of our ‘go to’ places for special occasions or when we’re looking for an excellent dining experience. Always an interesting menu and impeccably prepared with outstanding, professional service.

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MP
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Wonderful meal!!! Fantastic Duck . Had the mushroom side and shishito peppers. Nice wine list with plenty of Spanish and French choices. Service was excellent as well. Overall 5 star dinner

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C
New York Area
75 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

We had the Chef's tasting menu with wine pairing for $100 each. The selections were good and the wine choices were very good, but we thought execution on the food was only 3 stars. As an example, the seafood ceviche with shrimp, scallops, octopus, was done fine but lacked flavor in a tomato base. A citrus base would have brought more brightness to the dish. Anyway, overall not disappointed but I'll consider a different choice next time.

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AB
1 review
Dined on January 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food - I had conejo and my date had the stuffed chicken breast - we also shared ceviche. We both loved our food and were treated very well. It was my date's birthday, and our server brought out a couple chocolate bonbons for her which was very nice. I'd highly recommend Olea for birthday, anniversary, and other celebrations that you'd be willing to pay a bit more for.

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S
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on January 13, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Another great meal. Had the suckling pig and fish of the day (black sea bass). Both very good and worth getting again.

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NY
New York Area
9 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful restaurant. I always enjoy the food and ambiance

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t
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on January 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Olea is one of our favorite restaurants in New Haven. The delicious dishes are creatively prepared and presented. Whether you choose to enjoy many small plates with friends or commit to an entree, the flavors are diverse and special. Juan Carlos, Maria and their staff offer the best professional and warm service in New Haven. For a little different experience, you can also enjoy Olea's menu at the bar where Daniel will entice you with fun and unusual cocktails. Superb!

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S
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We have enjoyed this restaurant (and it's staff of professionals) EVERY time we have visited. The food is creative, delicious and always found to be worth the money. This is not to say that Olea is expensive, only to say that my Lady Sara and just HATE going out and paying good money for just good (to poor) food. That has never happened to us at Olea. This place is a true culinary treasure and well worth our drive to New Haven from Fairfield. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

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BH
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My wife and I had an amazing experience. The food is an absolute 10 out of 10. It is a foodie experience waiting for you.
It truly is a gem in New Haven! Our waiter (Jon) was professional, friendly, and timely. The water glasses were never empty and the table was always clean. Highly recommend Olea.

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JO
New England
4 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Not each dish is worth trying. But so many ones are too good to miss. Like and recommend ceviche and cannoli-misu

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OT
Raleigh
3 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful restaurant, incredibly reliable high quality of food. We eat there regularly and have never had a subpar experience. The tapas menu is wonderful if you are not in the food for a full sit down meal. You will not be disappointed!

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AC
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything is amazing, my husband and I celebrated our anniversary in Olea. When I make the reservation I select “anniversary “ option in Opentable.
When my husband and I ask for a dessert 🍮, they, really nicely wrote “happy anniversary “. That was so thoughtful from them, they care about their customers.
Excellent service.

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DB
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our first time there and we will absolutely be back! The foie gras and duck were to die for. Everything meg- fresh and expertly seasoned in a highly creative way. Owners super friendly and staff top of the line. Can't say enough good.

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A
1 review
Dined on December 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was my second time at Olea, and both visits were absolutely exceptional! It's on the pricier side, but totally worth it in my opinion, especially for a nice occasion. There isn't a single dish that isn't delicious; they're all innovative and use quality ingredients. The plating is always beautiful, and the service is great. I will definitely be going to Olea many more times in the future :D

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M
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on December 23, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 3

High end experience, but very limited for vegetarians. They were outstanding in recognizing our birthday, though. Extra gold stars for that. We will go again, but not often.

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OF
New England
7 reviews
Dined on December 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Haven’t been here in a few years, but it’s better than ever. We’ve been following Olea and it’s ancestors for about 30 years. Manuel Romero’s food was excellent as always, and Juan Carlos’s service gracious. The noise level was high but tolerable and got better when the crowd thinned out. I do miss the tapas menu, but I can guess that the economics don’t work as well. We’ll be back when we’re in New Haven.

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MR
1 review
Dined on December 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Creative, delicious cuisine, beautifully presented and attentively served. A meal at Olea is always a special occasion, whatever the day.

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LR
Tampa
9 reviews
Dined on December 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I have dined here before. The food is always well-prepared, fresh and has interesting preparations. Service is also excellent and attentive. Definitely recommend for any occasion.

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OT
Montreal
3 reviews
Dined on December 15, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Very nice evening. Not rushed but very noisy.

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NW
1 review
Dined on December 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Olea has a dining room and bar area. You can only have the tapas at the bar. We chose the dining room and I had the prix fixe menu and loved it! Plenty of food. My bf got his own meal and it was quite large. Both dinners were utterly delicious. I had a cava-gria for a drink and it was fantastic and not light on the brandy. Loved it!

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LA
New England
1 review
Dined on December 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Will return often!!! Creative and truly delicious food!

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JB
1 review
Dined on December 7, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

Perhaps a bit too noisy for conversation but we have hearing problems

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CB
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is, without a doubt, the best restaurant in New Haven and probably the best in Connecticut. The food is always outstanding and the service is professional, yet warm and friendly. It is a wonderful place to celebrate a special occasion, or for a special dinner anytime.

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SF
Cleveland
6 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food and service were outstanding. The food was creative and uncommon. The waitstaff was very attentive and accommodating.

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MM
New York Area
12 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

First time at Olea and we can't wait to return. My husband grazed through the menu, started with the charcuterie which contained a few wonderful surprises, on the head-on red shrimp (to die for!), then the grilled octopus and finally the roasted suckling pig. The great food, friendly atmosphere and professional service, made for a perfect evening!

P.S. We noted how many regulars were dining there, which only confirms how fabulous Olea is!

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V
New York Area
45 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Olea is always a wonderful experience. Great cocktails, apps, entrees, dessert, wine selection, staff, and service. Highly recommend!

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W
New York Area
33 reviews
Dined on November 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We frequently visit Olea when we are attending events at Yale, especially the theater. It is always a great experience. A good parking lot is right across the street and they will stamp your ticket. Very good wine list and a ceviche to die for.

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JO
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 6, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Gourmet food, impeccable service, great wine pairings, beautiful setting. Small portions, somewhat pricey.

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CA
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on November 4, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 1

We went back to Olea some months after our last visit. We had no remarkable memories. Our most recent visit did not change our impression. It is a very "standardized" place offering a cuisine that pretends to be Spanish more than it actually is. Tiger Fish (how Spanish...) and alike... the menu never really changes, and targets folkloric notes more than good cooking. Nothing is terrible, nothing is really good. The service is perfunctory at best. It is disturbing that they can look attentive on weekdays but lose any interest on weekends, when all restaurants in New Haven are fully booked. Except that local customers then remember. This place is well behind Roia, Zinc, Orcio, Midpoint Istanbul, and many other restaurants in New Haven. It is just overrated. Nothing is terribly wrong, to be clear, it is just mediocre food, uninspired cooking creating a fake impression of Spanish folklore.

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OT
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Olea continues to be the best restaurant in the new Haven area and compares well with the best in New York. The chefs tasting menu is amazing

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