The most memorable part of a $100 meal should not be the salad dressing.
Sadly, one week later, the same sentiment resonates in my mind as I sit down to share about a recent dining experience. Seven days have gone by and I’m still baffled by how many people highly recommended Olga’s, and agitated we paid so much for a mediocre meal.
Food is a passion (obviously) which comes attached with a high price tag at times. It’s the one thing I have little reservation spending money on be it at a supermarket, restaurant, specialty store, farmer’s market or on vacation. The real issue is two-fold:
- Although expensive meals are a pleasure we can afford once in awhile, we definitely don’t drop $100 (+) on a meal every weekend. When we do spend a Benjamin on a meal, it better be outstanding.
- More importantly, it would be extremely upsetting if this meal was my one luxury for the year, chosen out of a large pool of moderate-costly places I’ve yet to try.
We ended up at Olga’s because we hadn’t yet indulged for our anniversary, wanted to eat somewhere new and it was suggested repeatedly. On a Friday night we called around 6 p.m. and got a reservation for 6:30 p.m. Tucked in a strip mall off the side of I-55, we walked into a cozy, intimate interior and were seated at a candle-lit table.
Aware of Olga’s Russian heritage, I was very curious to try the Borscht and Pirogi. To begin we ordered a cup of soup and Seafood Stuffed Mushrooms to share. The soup was full of julienne beets and root vegetables topped with a dollop of sour cream; I’ve never had Borscht before but it was pretty good. The mushrooms needed salt, lacked flavor and the seafood in the stuffing mixture was indistinguishable.
Following the appetizers we had salads consisting of greens, shredded cheese and a tomato wedge. It was rather plain, but the feta dressing was nice. A loaf of bread was presented while we were finishing our salads and we polished it off except for one slice.
Breaking tradition Ben and I ordered the same entree, we both chose the 9 oz. Pirogi Filet “served with Russian style potato filled ravioli, topped with sauteed mushrooms and green and white onions” (quoted directly from the menu). And again, the steak wasn’t bad but it wasn’t fabulous either. It was fairly tender and liberally covered with mushrooms. A smattering of thin Pirogi were scattered around the meat, filled with a watery, grainy potato mixture.
Hoping to end on a high note we ordered Bananas Foster for dessert. Unfortunately since the bananas in liqueur were lit in the same dish as the ice cream (versus being ignited and then spooned on top), the ice cream rapidly melted into a puddle. The caramelized bananas were delicious, we just had to eat fast.
Besides the food, the service was excellent and our waiter was remarkably attentive. Our water glasses never ran low and we enjoyed the atmosphere. Nevertheless, for a total of four drinks, two appetizers, two entrees and dessert, this meal cost $135 (includes tip). Although we didn’t have a negative experience, the dishes didn’t stand out in any way. Our one visit might have been an off night, but I’ll stick with grilling steaks at home.
Olga’s Fine Dining
4760 I-55 North, Suite D
Jackson, MS 39211