Local foodies know that if you want to visit a trendy, happening spot, you usually can’t go wrong with a Fox Restaurant location. Monday, being the stressful day that it is, put me in the mood for a good lunch in a great atmosphere. I decided to join my colleagues for lunch at Olive and Ivy Restaurant and Marketplace at Scottsdale Fashion Square.
When you enter into the restaurant you immediately feel as if your “cool” meter went up a few notches. The atmosphere is beautiful and modern. The bar area is large and comfortable, and the multiple dining areas offer sophisticated, roomy seating.
Unfortunately, it was raining when we arrived, so the patio was unavailable. Overlooking the Scottsdale Waterfront, the patio is a perfect area for a girl’s night out or a first date; sorry guys, the patio is probably not your scene unless you are looking to impress your girl. Additionally, as a parent of a three year old, I’d tend to keep my child at home and save this location for date nights and grown-up meals.
There are two options for dining at Olive and Ivy. You can dine in or order from the Marketplace, which is like a chic neighborhood market — think baked goods, cheeses and other fancy-feeling food.
As enticing as the Marketplace side of the venue is, we chose to dine in. The dining room was full and bustling with a variety of clientele offering a pleasant, adult atmosphere. The wait time was short, and the service was courteous and timely.
We ordered from the lunch menu. I chose the bruschetta, chopped chicken salad, a cup of tomato soup and cheesecake. We were also served bread and house pesto, which was a great-tasting way to pique our appetites.
Bruschetta: Choice of three for $11
We chose the Prosciutto-Fig, Apple Caponata and the Funghi. The portions were sufficient, but the menu — or rather the server — lacked appropriate descriptions. I was disappointed that the Funghi was not described as cold. I love mushrooms, but prefer them hot rather than cooked and cooled.
However, the Apple Caponata was a nice alternative to the traditional apple-and-brie on many bruschetta menus across town. Although two of the three were interesting, I think Phoenix offers better bruschetta in other venues, so I would most likely pass on Olive and Ivy’s version on my next visit.
Chopped Chicken Salad: $11
I am now in love with this salad! It was a mixture of chicken, blue cheese, bacon, avocado, buttermilk dressing and granola — yes, granola. Olive and Ivy really took the basics of a chopped salad and elevated it with a sweet, unique twist. I decided to split this dish with my co-worker, and there was plenty for both of us.
Tomato Soup: $4
Let’s face it; tomato soup, done traditionally, is either good or bad. This version was robust with flavor and perfect for the chilly, rainy day of my visit.
This dessert was described as having a brown butter crust with seasonal fruit. It was delivered in a mason style jar with no crust as described on the menu. It was simply a jar of cheesecake, and the cranberry topping was too tart to compliment the sweetness of the cake. Once I realized there was no crust involved and scraped off the topping, the cheesecake was the same as any other that you would find on a dessert menu. I would not order this dessert again.
Overall our lunch was a good experience, meeting the expectations that I have come to expect from a Fox concept. I would recommend Olive and Ivy for any social dining date or business lunch. They also provide an impressive wine list and private party area that could be perfect for your next corporate event.
Olive and Ivy rating:
Food: 3 out of 5
Service: 5 out of 5
Atmosphere: 5 out of 5