Olives Cafe and Wine Bar

Olives Cafe and Wine Bar
EDMONDS - Adding to the beautiful scenery of downtown Edmonds is Olives Cafe & Wine Bar.

Michael Young and his business partner opened it as a gourmet grocery four years ago before turning it into a nice little hangout, offering small plates and more than 60 wines by the glass.

"I came from the Bay Area and tapas were really big there, but it hadn't really hit that far out here yet," says Michael. "We thought because we were a specialty food shop and we had done some other food before, that it would be an easier transition for our current clientele."

After graduating from the California Culinary Academy, Michael spent several years working at the renowned Aqua restaurant in San Francisco before moving up to Edmonds to open Olives.

"I kind of cook with a lot of French technique because that's what I've learned," he says. "But we do have some pretty traditional Spanish items. My Sous Chef "T," he's from Cambodia, so he brings in a lot of interesting influences, and he worked at the Herbfarm so he's got a really nice background."

For what Michael calls a "cheese course that can go up against anybody's in Seattle," he turns to his business partner, who owns the nearby "Resident Cheesemonger" cheese shop.

Not to be outdone, Michael purchased "Your Table Is Ready" catering across the street from Olives back in January, where many of their winemaker's dinners will be held outside on the patio this summer.

Michael says he loves the small plate/tapas style of cooking, because it allows his customers to create their own menu.

"You can say, 'okay, I'm going to have the grilled Misty Isle Petite Medallion, and the Cauliflower Gratin looks good. And then I'll chase that down with the Creamed Spinach, because WOW! It's made with St. Agur Bleu Cheese, so it must be good,' and it is!" laughs Michael.

But no matter what you order, Michael will make sure you have the perfect wine pairing.

"It's pretty Washington-centric, but we have some California wines, we even have a few Italian wines, a few French wines...whatever we can get our hands on that we like."

At the end of the night, Michael says he wants his customers to feel like they've been to a great dinner party.

"Our goal is to bring them in here, entertain them, provide really good service, I think great food, great wine, make them as happy as they can be...and send them on their merry way."

Michael's favorite places to Go Eat!: Crush, Union, Lark, Harvest Vine, Lampreia and Rover's.

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