Nestled in a cozy brick building on High Street, Olea is a haven for delectable, modern takes on Spanish and Mediterranean cuisine. The restaurant’s classy but unpretentious environment, inventive food and drink offerings, and thoughtful service make it a perfect setting for celebrations like graduation or simply an enjoyable evening out.

Janie Wu

Olea boasts one of the most pleasant environments for outdoor and indoor dining in New Haven, with a beautifully decorated, modern interior for indoor diners as well as a covered, heated, intimate exterior enclave for outdoor patrons (recently constructed).

Comfort and effortless class also characterize Olea’s dishes, which are creative, impeccably presented, and executed. Each dish we ordered was both visually appealing and flavorful, with complementary textures and fresh ingredients sourced both locally and from regions throughout the Mediterranean.

Finally, Olea’s staff were incredibly attentive to our preferences, recommending a mix of both traditional and novel food and drink specials from the menu, and kindly checking in at natural pauses throughout our meal.

Overall, every facet of our dining experience at Olea relayed thoughtfulness, skill, and artistry. It was a wonderful experience to spend the evening here, and we recommend the restaurant highly to any diner as a memorable evening to share with family and friends.


Janie Wu

The Nathan (right)

Marnier, homemade grenadine, Vieux Pontarlier Absinthe, fresh lemon juice

The Nathan is a smooth, sophisticated drink, a pool of caramel liquid surrounding a large ice cube that tempers the potence of absinthe, orange-flavored marnier liqueur, and lemon juice. House-made grenadine provides sweetness, lifting the Nathan's deep flavor profile.

Verde (left)

Jalapeno-infused Lunazul Blanco Tequila, Clement creole shrubb, agave nectar, fresh lemon juice, kiwi

Our second drink, the Verde, is an Olea classic and customer favorite. It is a Jalapeno-infused Lunazul Blanco Tequila, with agave nectar, fresh lemon juice, kiwi verde, and clement creole shrubb. The jalapeno acted as a fresh contrast to the tanginess of the lemon and kiwi.

Por Vida (back)

Mezcal, Campari, fresh lime juice, strawberry, egg white

The Por Vida is a beautifully presented drink — a bright, springy pink cocktail topped with frothy, foamy egg white and a slice of freeze-dried strawberry. It smells like a carton of fresh-picked berries and tastes like a boozy sour gummy. A perfect drink for happy hour or to start your meal.


Christina Tuttle


Tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, extra virgin olive oil, aged sherry vinegar, bread tuile, Marcona

At first a beautifully arranged platter of finely-chopped tomato, cucumber, bell pepper, and bread tuile, the gazpacho itself — a chilled tomato emulsion — was poured on the dish at our table, leaving a vibrant orange soup perfect for spooning up or pairing with bread. The acidity of the tomato cut the lightly creamy texture thickened with olive oil, and the fresh veggies throughout provided refreshing bursts. This modern take on classic gazpacho was a perfect, refreshing course to start off the meal. 

Janie Wu

Croquetas de rabo (top)

Oxtail beef-wild mushroom croquettes, port wine-oxtail jus, caramelized onions, brussels sprouts, dijon mustard

The croquetas de rabo was Olea’s rendition of the classic Spanish tapa. They were a perfect bite-size of deep fried creamy wild mushrooms with oxtail and sweet caramelized onions, all topped off with crispy brussel sprouts and whole grain mustard. The dish was a light and comforting beginning to our first warm course of the meal.

Pulpo (middle)

Spanish octopus a la plancha, potato foam, celery, sweet piquillo pepper, tomato, capers, paprika

This appetizer showed off Olea’s incredible attention to detail. The octopus was well crisped but surprisingly tender, served on top of a creamy potato sauce. We appreciated the texture contrast of the grilled octopus and the cream sauce, which came with juicy peeled tomatoes and crisp slices of celery. This is a dish we’re sure to re-order each visit.

Chipirones (bottom)

Point Judith baby squid ragout, squid ink, Albarino wine, calasparra rice

This dish genuinely blew us away for its uniqueness and perfectly executed textures. Presented as a dark, squid ink dish topped with a side of risotto-like rice, each element was cooked to perfection and blended perfectly. The baby squid was tender and melted in the mouth, and its sauce, a savory squid ink, was lightly creamy, thickened only with squid ink and onion cooked with white wine. On the side, the herby white rice acted as the perfect base for the sauce and soft squid. This dish is a testament to the skill of Olea’s chefs — another must-try.


Janie Wu


Pan-seared scallops, cauliflower, potato, aji amarillo, puffed quinoa, bell pepper-mango vinaigrette

Olea’s scallops might be the most beautiful dish we have ever eaten. Served with potato puree, then topped with a mix of purple cauliflower, red bell peppers, and orange mango, the vibrant, spring-time colors make the scallops pop. The potatoes are spiced with aji amarillo, a Peruvian yellow chili pepper that gives the potatoes a warm golden hue and subtle spicy kick. The scallops themselves came with perfectly crisp edges, followed by a sweet, slightly salty inside. Overall, the dish relied on many delicate flavors to not overwhelm the fresh scallops. We recommend this as a light entree that is also great for sharing.

Janie Wu


Roasted boneless suckling pig, lemon, thyme, honey-port wine, parmesan cheese dauphinoise potato, petit mesclun salad

The Cochinillo, which takes around half an hour for the chef to assemble, was a definite standout and 100% worth the wait. A perfect rectangle of vertically stacked parmesan cheese dauphinoise potato is topped with a round of crispy skinned sucking pig with a dark and sweet wine sauce. The pork was incredibly tender and seasoned simply, while the skin was delicate and crispy. With the combination of lemon and thyme as aromatics, the Cochinillo was not at all heavy. We cannot say enough about how delicious this dish was!

Janie Wu

Eggplant cannelloni

Roasted eggplant, onion bell pepper, butternut squash, grape tomato, black olive, Parmesan crackers, vegan pesto

This dish was an example of Olea’s creativity and mindfulness to diners of varying food preferences. A vegetarian spin on traditional cannelloni, which is typically filled with ricotta, this incredibly light, delicate version was filled instead with roasted, well-spiced eggplant, topped with crunchy, sharp Parmesan crackers for texture and fresh basil leaves for refreshment within bites. All elements were married together in a lightly creamy sauce, which left us feeling satisfied but not overwhelmed. For vegetarian and non-vegetarian diners alike, this cannelloni is a great option for a well-balanced, beautifully presented main course.


Janie Wu

Deconstructed cannoli-misu (front)

Cocoa soil, mascarpone mousse, Tia Maria caviar, ladyfingers, coffee sauce

We started desserts off with a deconstructed cannoli-misu, which resembled a classic cannoli, but was so elevated. Three crisp cannoli shells were filled with a light mascarpone mousse and topped off with tia maria caviar, coffee sauce, and cacao soil. Much lighter than a traditional cannoli, our first dessert was very quickly finished.

Chocolate textures (back)

Chocolate mousse-vanilla ice cream sandwich, milk chocolate rice crispy, chocolate-hazelnut ice cream, nougatine, white chocolate soup

This dessert came with four individual elements: 1. A delicate chocolate ice cream sandwich, 2. A chocolate rice crispy cluster, 3. A ball of house-made chocolate hazelnut ice cream, and finally, 4. A light, minty white chocolate soup. This platter was indeed an adventure in chocolate textures as well as flavors, with each element bringing a different nature of sweet dessert. We started off with the soft ice cream sprinkled with crunchy nougatine and ventured to the rice krispy cluster, which was enveloped in a bowl of snappy, high-quality dark chocolate and topped with intensely orange, candied orange peel. We then moved to the ice cream sandwich, whose light chocolate mousse and vanilla ice cream complimented the soft, mild chocolate sandwich layers. Finally, the white chocolate “soup” was surprisingly light and refreshing, lifted by fresh mint flavor to make this element the perfect palate-cleansing treat to end the dessert.

Janie Wu


Caramelized-soaked brioche, Tahitian vanilla infused milk, honey-rosemary ice cream

A more traditional dessert, Torrija is a Spanish style “French” toast that was served with rosemary ice cream, crispy cookie pieces, and a mint garnish. We were skeptical at first, but the torrija was a unanimous favorite. While the brioche is creamy and chewy on the inside, the top is sugared then torched like a creme brulee. It’s a decadent, melt-in-your-mouth bite. As a contrast to the warm brioche, the ice cream embraced an herby rosemary flavor for an incredibly light and crisp taste. The house-made ice cream is also available separately (choose three scoops among their many flavors: honey-rosemary, passion fruit, lemon peel, hazelnut-chocolate, mango, creme brulee, strawberry sorbet, or white peach sorbet). We were blown away by the Torrija. 

Overall, our night was dish after dish of perfection. We are grateful to Olea for hosting us and highly recommend their restaurant for an incredible dinner experience.