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Good food, excellent service are on menu

Oliver's Pub and Restaurant runs gamut from simple to extravagant

Oliver's Pub and Restaurant runs gamut from simple to extravagant

March 10, 2003|by E.T. MOORE

If you're looking for a decor that drips a rich elegance, Oliver's Pub & Restaurant is not the place for you. If your goal is good food and excellent service, this restaurant and bar is worth the trip.

Located in the Long Meadow Shopping Center in Hagerstown, Oliver's Pub offers everything from sandwiches and munchies to complete entrees. The restaurant also has an extensive wine and beer list.

The table tops are bare, and the napkins are paper. Deep green wallpaper and dark woods make up the base of the decor. There is nothing fancy here. The atmosphere is best described as casually comfortable.

The restaurant is spacious and offers areas for dining that are semi-private. It also has a bar and separate dining seating for smoking and non-smoking customers.

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Because it offers such spacious dining areas, it was disappointing when my dinner companion and I were seated at a table located between two occupied tables. Around us were open tables that offered more privacy for conversation.

Another couple seated after us must have had the same thought. Placed between two occupied tables, they asked to be relocated and quickly were.

The request was met with a pleasant smile, and I suspected then that the service would be good.

A waiter or waitress can, frankly, make or break a customer's experience. Our waitress was exceptional.

Throughout the meal our waitress, Tiffany, was friendly and watchful of our needs and those of other diners seated in her area. Three times she was there to refill my dinner companion's glass of iced tea almost as soon as it was empty. That kind of service makes dining out a special event.

We began our meal with one of the appetizer specials - Scallops Au Gratin. I love scallops, and everything is better with cheese, so I was looking forward to tasting this dish. It was disappointing. The cheese sauce was far too mild, adding no flavor to the dish. The scallops were equally bland.

It turned out to be the only negative part of the meal.

The appetizer was followed by a dinner salad, which was very good. The entrees made the night.

My dinner companion selected an entree from the evening's specials - a salmon fillet poached in white Zinfandel and topped with orange slices. It was served with a baked potato and steamed vegetables. I tasted the salmon. Very good, but my own selection was much better.

Ordering off the regular menu, I had Shrimp Jennifer - gulf shrimp simmered in a white wine cream sauce with sausage, broccoli, sun-dried tomatoes and mushrooms over spinach fettuccini.

This dish worked all the tastebuds. The sun-dried tomatoes were among the best I have ever tasted and the sausage added a spicy kick to the pasta. The only way to improve this dish would be to de-tail the shrimp so they are more easily enjoyed as a part of the dish. As it was, I had to pull off the tail shell before twirling the shrimp with the pasta or eat the shrimp separately with my fingers. Either way, it was messy.

Dessert was a rich Snickers bar pie that melted in the mouth. Tiffany promised it was calorie-free, which only added to her skills as a waitress as far as I was concerned.

The meal of a shared appetizer, two salads, two entrees, a shared dessert, a glass of house wine, and two non-alcoholic drinks came to a total of $47.83, not counting the tip. It was worth it.




Restaurant reviews are contributed bi-weekly by Herald-Mail staff writers, editors and freelancers alternating under the pseudonym E.T. Moore. For questions or tips, call Lifestyle Editor Jake Womer at 301-733-5131, ext. 2340, or e-mail

lifestyle@herald-mail.com.

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