Newly opened at the corner of Thurlow & Haro, Purple Olive Grill is the latest restaurant to try out the West End corner. After Piccolo Mondo, Saveur and most recently Ensemble have all gone by the wayside, will this newcomer be the one to make the corner a success?
The budget friendly menu, ranging from $3.95 starters to $15.95 mains, leaned toward a Mediterranean theme with Calamari, Souvlaki, and pasta dishes alongside family favourites like burgers, salmon, steak & prawns. Nightly specials feature a main or two from the menu discounted to $7.95 or $12.95. They haven’t received their liquor license yet, leaving the bar a large empty bank of shelves where the bottles would be, but the nearly full house of patrons on my recent visit didn’t seem to notice. The steady stream of diners picking up take-out orders weren’t concerned with the lack of license either.
Starting off, with a plate of calamari, which were well done although the tzatziki was a bit thick and bland but not enough to make it a negative dish. For mains, my dinner companion had New York Steak and Prawns which was served with roasted potatoes, green salad and garlic bread. The decent serving, on special for $9.95, was simply dressed and flavoured, grilled prawns were lightly seasoned and the steak was cooked as ordered. The chicken fettuccini alfredo for my main was an ample serving of pasta and grilled chicken breast with garlic bread. Lightly sauced and seasoned, the pasta was however slightly overcooked to my liking. Overall we were pleased with our meals, as well as the bill, enough to return again. This seems like the right kind of place the neighbourhood needs, rather than a high end ‘special occasion’ restaurant, Purple Olive Grill is the type simple and basic restaurant where locals can stop by a couple times per week to grab a bite or take home dinner on the way home from work or after a day of shopping.
Purple Olive Grill is located at 850 Thurlow, Vancouver. Open 11am – midnight Mon – Sat (closed Sunday) Phone 604.558.2103 for reservations or to order take out.