Published on August 21st, 2012 | by TLV News0
Savoring Simplicity: An Evening At Olivia’s Corner Market
A minimalist sign along the side of County Road 335 in Taylor announces “STEAK HOUSE,” and right up the road in the picturesque Plein Air neighborhood, Olivia’s Corner Market beckons. The menu mirrors the minimalist attitude, as Chef Allen Sanders (click link to read his “Cook of the House” interview from TLV #162) believes that quality products are best left unfussed with. And the quality here is indisputable—steaks, catfish, pasta. Period. Rather than pondering an over-complicated menu, you can spend your time enjoying yourself, perhaps by admiring the stylish dining room décor or your date’s dazzling smile.
Allen has a passion for cooking that you can taste in every bite of his food. His focus on quality starts by utilizing local ingredients whenever possible. The beef comes from Stan’s Country Store, the catfish is from the Mississippi Delta, and most of their veggies are grown by the friendly farmers out at Yokna(patawpha) Bottoms. There’s even a little garden outside next door where they get ultra-fresh herbs and such. Those of you who are locavores will appreciate that level of attention.
One of the standouts on the appetizer list is the fried green tomatoes. They’re served with a crawfish sauce that has a surprising kick; it’s spicy and creamy and completely delicious. Or perhaps you crave tamales? Yes, please—Delta style. Stuffed mushrooms are another tasty option, but make sure you save room for the star of the show, the steaks. Chef Sanders cooks those first-class cuts of meat over a charcoal grill out behind the restaurant, and trust me when I say that you would be a fool to even think of wrecking them with steak sauce. I’m not sure what goes into the mystery liquid that he brushes over them, sending up a mouthwatering burst of flames, but it’s just the right balance of flavor to compliment the smokiness and bring out the steak’s flavor.
Another big plus to Olivia’s is the option to brown bag. This means that you can bring your own beverages and they will accommodate you with ice, mixers, and stemware. You can grab a table inside the cozy dining room, or outside within view of the Plein Air amphitheatre (where there will be live music on the weekends—stay tuned for details). So whether you’re looking for a great date night destination, want to have a fun group get-together, or if you’re just in the mood for a killer steak, you need to get out to Olivia’s.