4 Olives Wine Bar and Restaurant (Manhattan, KS)

Before I left Manhattan, I made a point to visit all of my favorite restaurants in town one last time. The best of the best of those, and also the most expensive, was 4 Olives Wine Bar and Restaurant.

4 Olives is far and away the best restaurant in the Little Apple. Harry’s (featured later) might come close, but between the romantic, cozy ambiance, the absolutely impeccable food, and the massive wine list, 4 Olives takes the cake. I’ve been to the restaurant six or seven times and tried just about every entree on the menu and have never once been disappointed with the food or service.

This time around, my girlfriend and I started with the Chesapeake Crab Cakes. The plate was three generously sized lump crab cakes served with 4 Olives’s traditional remoulade sauce. They were divine.

For an entree, I ordered the Seared Sesame-Crusted Ahi Tuna, a dish which I had never ordered at this restaurant before. The tuna came to the table seared perfectly to slightly less than medium-rare. The tuna was served with mouth-watering wasabi mashed potatoes and grilled zucchini, which is always a welcome addition to a dish. The sauce around the outside was a red pepper aioli that added a nice bit of spice to the tuna. The tuna fell apart as I cut it and simply melted in my mouth. Absolutely. Perfect. I was recommended the Turkey Flat Rose Barossa for my wine pairing and was not disappointed, as the sweetness of the rose perfectly complimented the spiciness of the sesame and red pepper aioli. One of the best dishes I’ve had at 4 Olives…and that’s saying a lot. Even my girlfriend, who despises tuna, tried the dish and loved it.

Speaking of my girlfriend, she ordered the Seared Scallops with Shiitake Broth, which I had tried before and knew to be delicious. The scallops were served in a shiitake mushroom, bacon, and cream broth on a bed of chive mashed potatoes and spinach greens. Like my tuna, the scallops melted in my mouth when I tried a bite and were a perfect match for the J Russian River Valley Chardonnay that they were served with. The Chardonnay was one of the best I’ve tried, not heavy and oaky like most Californian Chardonnays tend to be but rather a light, pleasant lemon, peach, and vanilla flavor.

For dessert, we tried one of their ever-changing weekly specials — a pairing of two different creme brulees. The first was an orange peel cream creme brulee with orange peel infused sugar topping and the second was a dark chocolate with caramelized cocoa sugar. They were both delicious and creamy and complimented each other very well. Since I’m a sucker for chocolate, I enjoyed that one a little more, but the orange peel creme brulee was incredibly refreshing. Some of the best creme brulee I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying.

As usual, our server brought out a piece of the restaurant’s famous house-made chocolate-almond toffee with the bill. It’s always a nice touch at the end of a perfect dining experience at 4 Olives.

I can’t recommend this restaurant enough. Not only is it the best restaurant in Manhattan, but one of the best restaurants I’ve tried anywhere in the United States. It’s a little spendy, especially for your average college student, with a dinner for two with drinks running from about $100-$150, but do yourself a favor and just splurge once at this place. It will be one of the best food decisions you ever make.

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