For our last morning in Cluj Napoca we dined at Olivo for breakfast. Why, oh why, had I not discovered it sooner; it was hands down my favorite breakfast restaurant we went to the whole time we were there.
From the outside it’s a classy looking establishment; inviting and modern. We also heard that they specialized in coffee, which was very apparent when we saw their menu; literally any kind of coffee you could ever think of.
My husband ordered the V60 drip coffee and I ordered a latte, because I’m a sucker for habit. There’s just something about a latte that really makes me feel as though I’m getting a hug from the inside out with it’s velvety cream finish and adequate caffeine kick.
The food menu was also fabulous and if the breakfast menu wasn’t for you, then you could also order from the main menu which opened up a whole other set of freshly cleaned glass doors with heaps of food patiently waiting on the other side.
I ordered a dish that boasted of having freshly roasted vegetables, arugula, and fried eggs in a cask iron skillet; a perfect start to the morning. I must say that even when I’m home in my own kitchen I do love fresh vegetables and eggs for breakfast, so every time I see it on a menu I get a little giddy. My husband ordered the homemade bruschetta from the main menu, and then the wait began – a short one at that.
The inside of the restaurant was filled with two metal chandeliers, almost like the old candle lights you’d see in movies, which I thought really set the tone, and if you’ve ever seen a few Game of thrones episodes you’ll understand what I mean.
The paintings on the walls also added character as if a time gone by, and the service was very helpful, friendly, and patient with a language barrier; we felt right at home, and I… in eggy heaven.
The waiter informed us that the cafe pressed fresh fruit daily into juices, so my husband ordered an orange juice, and I ordered a grapefruit juice, because you definitely can’t say no to something that fresh and delicious for a morning boost of vitamins; sunshine in a glass.
Before I could verbally announce that I was now very hungry the food had arrived, almost in a flash, and as I sat with my mouth open ready to speak, I quickly shut it and picked up my knife and fork. No time to waste when the hanger is choo-chooing down the track.
A big steaming cask iron skillet filled with heaps of color and two delicious looking eggs was in front of me, in all its beautiful breakfast glory. I was like an over excited kid in a candy store. Not only was my breakfast egg addiction satisfied, but the vegetables were perfectly roasted; Mrs. Conley 1 – Hanger 0.
My vegetables consisted of pepper, mushroom, eggplant, and zucchini.
Oh, and did I mention the generous heap of arugula on top? And the perfectly crispy, salty, pancetta? It was basically everything I could want in a breakfast, and one I will definitely be copying when I get back home. What a great dish to have on the menu; I’d pick it every time!
The first bite was heavenly, but it did need salt and pepper for a little seasoning.
I have come to the conclusion that many places here in Cluj do not season their food, and I believe that the reason behind that MUST be so that you can personally season it to your taste/needs. At first I wasn’t sure about this and kinda felt like I’d been let down a little, but now the idea has warmed on me, and I absolutely love it! There’s no over seasoning, under seasoning, or anything to make the dish unworthy. I saw each dish as almost a canvas, already painted and beautiful, but needing those finishing touches to top it off – finishing touches that could be personalized to any customers palette – which I was more than happy to do. A shimmy here, a shake there, a toss over the shoulder for good luck, and the dish was seasoned to my liking. How lovely!
It was time to chow down on my perfectly roasted, yolky, cast iron feast, which was fit for Kings and queens.
I was surprised to realize how full I was almost halfway through and couldn’t believe how much more I still had to go; this skillet really was bottomless it seemed. If only I could somehow squeeze in a little more; it was time for a feast intermission whilst I got my life together with a series of deep breaths and prayers of speedy digestive vibes.
My husbands bruschetta also looked extremely fresh and he said that the tomatoes were the perfect sweetness to compliment the homemade bread; I must admit it looked mouthwatering.
Upon first sip of my grapefruit juice I was in awe; it was refreshing and full of flavor. The same could be said for the orange juice. It’s great to see more and more places using such fresh ingredients on their menus. I believe 100% that you can’t go wrong with a vitamin boost, from Mother Nature, to start your day.
The presentation of the whole meal was lovely, and we spent ample amounts of time staring out of the window, people watching, and enjoying our last morning in the city.
I am now 100% in love with Olivo. If I could turn back time I’d visit this cafe every single morning; what a gem.
If you find yourself in Cluj for at least one morning, then you cannot leave without eating at this fabulous little cafe.
A perfect last meal in Romanias second largest city.
Thank you Cluj Napoca.
Until next time,