By Mitch E. at 2016-12-10
Scouring downtown Pittsburgh for a good spot Saturday night, we ended up at Olive or Twist, which was a delight.
Live music is always a plus for me. We wanted seats at the bar but there were only tables to the side that did not offer service available, which was more than fine for me.
I felt for what the establishment was, the drinks were a bit pricier than other places in town, but it's still fairly inexpensive in Pittsburgh. My friend ordered dinner despite stuffing our faces earlier. He couldn't finish his meal, but enjoyed it none the less.
Not a bad option to check out.
By Kelly M. at 2016-10-11
Used to come here a lot when I was in college for apps and drinks before Benedum & Heinz Hall shows. Rather small dining area- you have to make a reservation or get here a little early on those show nights. The sticky wings & buffalo chicken dip w/ chips are the best! Also enjoyed the chicken Caesar salad ... but this place is also known for the Martini Sampler during Happy Hours... You'll see many people during Happy Hour testing the different selections of Martinis! Consider Olive or Twist the next time you want a modern, mellow spot for grabbing a bite & a drink w/ a friend or significant other, especially before/after watching a Broadway show nearby!
Wait staff isn't the greatest - you may be waiting a while for a drink refill or check.
Restaurant area is very small.
A little pricey for the portions.
By John R. at 2016-10-09
Well that was an odd night. Came in after a Steelers game (5pm) and the staff seemed genuinely surprised that people had come to a restaurant to eat. The place was pretty empty, but that didn't stop them from taking 15 minutes to come ask for for a drink order. And well over 45 for food to arrive. Long enough that we had to ask where our food is and were informed by the (single) server "I'm sure it's fine." Well, the Cajun tortellini was more like the stuff from giant eagle with some hillshire farm sausage.
Ummm. Anyway, the martinis were good. Once they showed up.
By Chad K. at 2016-07-05
We decided to try this place before the Billy Joel concert and we had a wonderful meal/time. We made a reservation, which I would definitely recommend if you are going before an event.
The atmosphere here is very cool. Exposed brick walls and high ceilings make it feel much like a small bar/restaurant you would find randomly in Brooklyn or the village.
First things first, drinks! I ordered the classic olive or twist with deaths door gin and it was wonderful! My mother ordered the strawberry shortcake martini which tasted like a melted strawberry cheesecake blizzard from dairy queen that melted in a glass with vodka (very tasty but too sugary for me). The others ordered non martini drinks (Vodka tonic and a moscow mule) that came out just fine. If you come during happy hour the prices aren't too bad at all!!
Continuing with the happy hour theme we ordered the half priced nachos, one with steak and one with chicken. The four of us devoured them while waiting for our meal. The nachos are very good and done very well but if there are more than 3 of you at a table and your hungry order 2! However, one is more than enough for 2.
Entrees then came to the table and I had the Roasted Turkey Cobb salad which was also done well and the turkey was a nice change to the Cobb salads usual chicken. The turkey tasted just like thanksgiving! Other entrees ordered were the crab cakes (which were very generously sized), the crab cake sandwich with sweet potato fries (The fries are amazing!), and the short ribs and regular fries (which I would pass on TBH). Other than the regular fries everything else was thoroughly enjoyed.
Finally, after many drinks we decided would could all split a desert. My father was the only smart one who decided he didn't want to share, but ended up with the saddest looking desert I have ever seen. He ordered a vanilla bean cake dish that he said was good, but the presentation was very underwhelming. The rest of us ordered the baked appletini desert with vanilla ice cream. It was like a deconstructed apple pie ala mode served in a martini glass. Between the three of us I am surprised we didn't break the glass or stab each other trying to get a bite!
Overall, I would totally recommend this to friends looking for a good meal or for a decent happy hour spot!!!
By Echo K. at 2016-12-14
Was here last night, food was ok. Portions were small. The only think making this a 3 star review was the service. Our server was very attentive even though they were busy! We all had steak salads our dressings got messed up when delivered and happy hour beers were still 4 or more dollars for domestic drafts. Overall an ok experience.
By Jen C. at 2016-09-15
I want to love Olive or Twist, but I just don't.
And there is really no reason for that, which is why I'm struggling to write this review. I thought my server was really nice and informative. We walked right in and had a table on a Wednesday night, no problems. (It is sort of small so I assume for the dinner hour you should make a reservation.)
I've eaten here twice and had the Penne Alla Vodka both times and enjoyed it. The fried calamari is great and the drink menu seems to be pretty large.
There's just something that seems off and keeps me from labeling it a must-see destination. There's a bit of a chain restaurant feel with the menu or that it can't decide if it's an Italian restaurant or a sandwich place. Maybe that's the point and I'm missing it.
Either way, I would definitely advise trying it out for yourself. I don't think you'd be disappointed. I went here the first time before a show at Heinz Hall and I thought it was absolutely perfect for that.
By Bernice C. at 2016-12-18
So I came into the restaurant for lunch and the soup was so yummy. I had the Stuff pepper soup one day. And the cream of mushroom. There soup is always really good and flavorful
By Olivia A. at 2016-03-21
But seriously, Olive or Twist is one of my favorite bars. Ever since I moved out of Pittsburgh, this is one of my first stops on my trips back to visit. (I am not a fan of them closing earlier though ... they were quite rude to us more than once when we came in a little before midnight. They would start to put chairs up while we were still drinking upstairs, and it was super obvious they wanted to push us out. I used to work in a restaurant, and it was a cheap restaurant, but even they did not do that. You should wait until the customer is done, end of story. That's why I gave them 4 stars instead of 5. End rant).
But I have had enough good experiences that that won't detour me from going back. The appetizers are good, and I cannot get enough of the Chocolate Covered Pretzel Martini -- it's my all-time favorite.
By Lauren W. at 2016-10-02
Ate here on a Saturday night before the Nationals-Pirates game (go Nats!!!). We were lucky to find seats at the bar, considering the few tables for people without reservations were taken and getting a reservation here is serious business, apparently. I had a decent pour of pinot grigio and my boyfriend had a beer, both probably a little overpriced but what can ya do. The buffalo dip appetizer was served in a martini glass (nice touch) and came with a ton of really nice pita slices. FAN. I got a grilled cheese with tomato soup, and wasn't happy to find tomato slices in the grilled cheese sandwich since I am 99% sure it was not listed as having tomatoes inside it on the menu (I know I know, I like tomato soup but not raw tomatoes, get over it). When I took the tomato slices off of the sandwich, a woman at the bar next to me voiced her displeasure with my action to her husband. I'm sorry, is this your sandwich?? BYE. Anyways, the soup was great and the de-tomatoed sandwich was delicious too. My boyfriend got sweet potato fries (YUM) and a steak sandwich which I enjoyed stealing bites of. All in all we had a pleasant experience, only made better by our groupon!
By Brent W. at 2016-11-28
This is a really nice place to eat, the staff is very friendly, quick and pleasant on top of having some great food. I really enjoyed the small menu they had, but with solid choices for everyone.
Again, the staff was fantastic and I highly recommend this restaurant for just about any meal during your day or night in downtown Pittsburgh.
By Ana G. at 2015-09-30
I am usually not one to go downtown, but hubby got a Group on for this place and I was so glad he did!! This place is known to be a martini bar, and boy do they know their stuff.
When we arrived we were promptly seated and our waiter took our order. Since I am a sucker for cucumber, I opted for the cucumber basil martini. Let me tell ya, this beverage was not only pretty to look at but very tasty and refreshing to boot. My husband opted for one of their beers on draft.
For our main I decided to go for their braised short ribs which pretty darn good. The short ribs had this really tasty wine sauce, with a side of mashed potatoes and some really tasty asparagus. Everything about this dish was delectable.
My husband on the other hand, opted for their hamburger with some bacon and Swiss cheese. I had a taste of it and it was pretty good. My husband really liked and the fact that it was cooked to his specifications.
I really liked the ambiance of the place. The exposed brick the old bar. It just had a romantic feel to it. Definitely a good place for a first date as it is a little intimate.
Really like the fact that they can make a mean martini and the romantic decor. If I am ever in the neighborhood I will more than likely hit this place up again!
By Vinny A. at 2016-02-07
This place is fortunate enough to have a great location near the theatre and restaurant scene, but outside of that - it's pretty "blah" in my opinion. Possibly worthy of a stop for a drink before or after dinner or a show, I wouldn't make it a destination-type experience.
Olive or Twist is good for a cocktail, a convenient location, and a clever name, but not much else.
By Samantha B. at 2016-03-05
I stopped in for an happy hour drink. This place was jammed pack no seating at the downstairs bar so I proceeded to the upstairs bar/lounge area. The upstairs has a bar and some couch seating areas that apparently u can reserve.... I ordered the chocolate covered pretzel martini which was very good. It took awhile for it to arrive but it was good. We ordered nachos as an appetizer and was very disappointed. They failed to put the salsa on them. Which I wasn't going to send them back because it took way to long for us to receive them. If you had a long day at work and want to sit at the bar and have a drink I would advise to get there super early or you'll be waiting for a seat and drinks.
By Joelle R. at 2016-04-14
Delicious Martini's! Trendy Ambiance
By Scott C. at 2016-11-03
Decided to give this place a try because of the $10 for $20 yelp deal. Had a bowl of "chunky" clam chowder which was tomato based & excellent! Sort of small for a bowl. I also tried the cobb salad which had lots of huge chunks of turkey but was lacking much of the other ingredients including luttace. It was definetly not worth 16 bucks. I would not go to this place again without another coupon to entice me. However the service was outstanding and atmosphere is pretty cool.
By Susan R. at 2016-12-07
Very nice place. Food is excellent. Portions could be a tad bigger. Not that I was still hungry, just that it tasted that good. Would suggest more entree selections. Variety could be a bit better. I'd also like to mention that I'd like to have the option of dining upstairs but only seems to be available to private functions. Keep up the good work, and really appreciate the restaurant.com deal. Will be back.
By Chris H. at 2015-07-01
I not only expect to not like Olive or Twist, I also don't really *want* to like it. My one and only issue is that its kind of expensive. Martinis are all about $10, the entrees are all around $30, and unless you're going for happy hour, all appetizers are at least $10. I always start to wonder if it's really worth the cost, but honestly, I think it is.
Every time I've gone I've shared crab cakes. Before you judge the $27 price tag, just realize that they have the type of crab cakes that are actually made with real crab. These aren't $15 crab cakes that are half bread/filling, they are proper (and very large) crab cakes. This last visit we also split nachos and lobster mac n cheese. I've heard the buffalo chicken dip is good and every dessert I've tried has been great.
It's also a martini bar so you'd expect them to be great at them, and they are. Last visit I had the chocolate covered pretzel, but other memorable martinis include the birthday cake and strawberry short cake (please don't judge- these were actually enjoyed on my birthday.) And at although these drinks aren't always my favorite type of alcoholic beverage, they are soooo good.
The place is dark (in a good way) and has impeccable service. Or at least the server I've had both times, Jeff (per our receipt) is great at his job. He's exactly the kind of sever I would always want to have: nice, polite, and overall just generally good at his job with the timing of bringing food and checking on the table.
I'd definitely visit Olive or Twist more regularly if they dropped their prices like 25%, but you get what you pay for and I'm willing to occasionally shell out the extra dough for a good meal with awesome service.
By Vikki N. at 2016-08-05
Truly the best dining experience I've had. Very impressed with my dinner and the whole atmosphere. The Chef even came out to the dining area to see how everything was and share his expertise with us. I will Definitely make this one of my regular places to dine. Also got a tour of the upstairs banquet area and was equally impressed with it. Perfect area for a Christmas party. Highly recommend!!!!
By Cari J. at 2016-10-07
Fun environment! Enjoyed a pumpkin ale "pumking" and hubs had a rusty rye. Good service! I was here 10 years ago (the last time I was in Pittsburgh), so I was happy to see this place still up and running.
By Julian Y. at 2016-05-25
So.... This place is ok. By that I mean the drinks and the food (especially the calamari) was great. The service not so much. No acknowledgement when we arrive. Sit at the bar. None. They are not busy.
I hate to to pull the race card but this part of town lacks in diversity.
Asked to leave my card at the bar. Couple next to us didn't have to do this. I guess he thought we would run.
Never came out to see how we were doing. I had to go into the bar.
Worst service I've received in a while.
I wouldn't go if you are of flavor descent.