Portland >Bars & Clubs > Olive Or Twist
925 NW 11th Avenue, Portland, OR | Directions 9720945.529633 -122.682484
Neighborhoods: Pearl, Neighbors West - Northwest
Such a cozy little gem, tucked under the Kearny Apartment building across the street from Jamison Square. Comfortable banquet seating throughout this space with a great little patio for warmer weather. Drinks are made with precision and presented beautifully. Occasionally live jazz music is played. Baked Brie and a salad with fresh mozzarella was delicious.
WILL NOT BE RETURNING – Had never been to Olive or Twist before, and thought it would be a good place to take friends from out of town. We were greeted by who we believed to be the manager/owner? I wanted a vodka martini, and to my surprise, he all but argued with me, trying to get me to order a gin martini. When I didn't, he seemed annoyed. After some time, we got our drinks and asked if we could see a food menu, which never came. (we had to ask another table for theirs.) After waving down another server, we attempted to place our order for food. About ten minutes later, we were informed that they were out of two of the four items we ordered. It was well over an hour before we recieved the food we did order: A chicken caesar salad, very straight forward and basic, and a panini with pasta, (we ordered salad with it,) where the bread was hard as a rock.
Bottom line, a total bummer of an experience. Will not be going back.
We met a few friends here for drinks and looking forward to a good experience. The drink menu was unimpressive, their wine list non-existent and their food menu - well let's say they had three entrees on the menu and they were out of two of them. We ended up having a paninni which was actually pretty good since their bread was from the Pearl Bakery. Besides that, they forgot our drinks, we had to get up from our table to order at the bar since the server didn't even check up on us, and they overcharged us at the end. Disappointing and definitely won't be back.
Highly Recommended! – I am very particular about bars and there are only a select few I enjoy. I have had a great experience at Olive or Twist either with friends or coming in alone. I like the food, and am now a fan of the classic dry martini. I highly recommend Olive or Twist to all my friends and co-workers. Good service, good food and the best martinis. A great place to meet.
Better than NY – I took my son (who lives in New York) and it met his approval, which is saying something. Drinks and food are both great (I recommend the marionberry martini and the chicken pesto panini), and the service is very good. The outdoor patio area is also really nice. And, unlike a NY bar, it's not overly crowded (yet!)
A Classy Place! – I have been in with friends more than once and have had a great experience every time. Nice to know there is a place I can come back to and count on good service, gracious atmosphere and great martinis. I especially recommend it to those with an appreciation for fine gins. And did I mention the truffles?
Ripped off on Third Thursday – My friends and I went out for First Thursday in May and ended up at Olive or Twist. Since it was raining pretty hard outside there were only a couple other parties in the bar. We only had wine so I can't say much about the food or the martinis (of which there weren't many) but I can say a lot about the service which was horrible. There were only 4 of us seated at first. Another group met up with us, but their tab was separate from our's. Seeing as how there were only a few people in the entire bar, we were shocked at the lack of customer service from the waitress. It was as if it was her first night on the job. When it came time for everyone to leave, we asked for our bill and saw that they had charged us automatically for tip. I've been to hundreds of restaurants and bars all over the world and this is the first time I've seen a gratuity included on a bill for 4 people and for drinks only. Plus we were never informed of this policy before we ordered drinks. And to top it off, the waitress had offered us two glasses of wine for free because they had been overpours and would've gone to waist. But when the bill came, she charged us for them. I will never go back to this bar and will tell everyone I know NOT to go there either.
BOr-ing – I took my sister and her boyfriend there, I was hoping for some good martinis, and a nice quiet place we could talk. I had no idea it would be so generic and DULL. 4-6 martinis on the list, to begin with. I'm sorry but if you call yourself a "martini Bar" and you even have a cheesy pun for a name, you should whip up a pretty impressive list of Custom mixed Cocktails to go with it. The Vault has over 30 Martinis, some of them are extraordinary. And the atmosphere, I wanted "quiet" but I didn't want to feel like I was in a crypt! Grey walls, little or no decor to speak of, extremely sparse everything, could have been someone's idea of minimalism, (but I doubt it judging by the weird red xmas tree lights decorating a stick in the foyer). The food menu, equally unimpressive, not many choices, the antipasti was OK, but basically, uninspired. Just dull. I won't go back unless there are real changes made.
Great atmosphere – Me and some friends decided to try Olive or twist on a Saturday night. It was really nice inside, I loved the seating and the atmosphere. There were quite a bit of people there, but always enough room for incoming people to find somewhere to sit on the nice white couches. I was really disappointed with the martini list though. There were about 8 martinis on the menu, I was hoping since this was a martini bar that there would be many different martinis to choose from. The martini I got was really good, but I was just sad that there wasn't more choices to pick from. I'm sure you can ask the waitress or bartender to make you anything you want though. I would go here again if they had a more elaborate martini list. I would recommend it though if you want a great martini and know what you want, it was a really nice place. It would be good for a date too, the atmosphere was romantic and it wasn't loud, you can actually have a conversation.
Sleek and Secluded... – I left Vault to meet a friend at Olive or Twist. When I entered I was worried that they were not open since it was so quiet, which ironically ended up being my favorite part! I didn?t have to scream to talk to my friend, and we had plenty of counter space at the bar top. I really don?t think that $9 is too expensive for a drink, but was worried when their Caesar salad was only around $6. I assumed it would either be very small or completely inedible. To my surprise it was crisp fresh and yummy? just like the drinks. I would recommend it, but don?t want to lose my secluded hideaway.
Cool vibe, Pearl pricetag – This place is a good place to sit and chill with a yummy cocktail. Be prepared to pay for the cool atmosphere, though. The drinks are good, but pretty pricey. I wish I could've stayed to sample more of the interesting drinks, but at $9 a pop, I could only indulge in one.
My bloodorange kamikaze was good--not too sweet. The spicy peach was delicious and totally an unexpected combination of flavors.
If you're not worried about your wallet, make this a stop on your night out.
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