L’Oliva Ristorante Italian & Wine bar
This is Italy transplanted in Thonglor.
The buzz: Dreaming of a trip to Italy? Co-owned by a passionate Abruzzo native, this awesome restaurant in Thonglor will take you there with its drool-worthy line-up of pizza, cold cuts, pasta and more.
The vibe: Down a small soi off the residential Sukhumvit Soi 36, this imposing slice of Italy is an unexpected find. Housed in a standalone two-story building surrounded by a black awning, a paved parking area and a lush green garden, the property is divided into Italian restaurant L’Oliva and neighboring Caffe Olives. Inside the restaurant, you’ll find a comfy, lunch-friendly lounge area with wood beam ceilings and red brick details; head through the brick archways for a more intimate, romantic setting, featuring individual tables topped with white table cloths. Go further still and you’ll hit the piece de resistance: a sun-dappled, high-ceilinged glasshouse with hanging ferns and a 10-seat table running down the middle, primed for private dining with views out to the green garden. Come evening, candles and low spotlights create a warm and intimate atmosphere, perfect for big groups and special occasions.
The food: Here, the specialty is Neapolitan pizzas made by an in-house chef from Naples. Featuring a perfectly puffy crust, topped with mortadella, ricotta, pistachio pesto and fresh fiordilatte cheese, the Mortadella Pistachio pizza (B440) is no doubt up there with Bangkok’s best, but there’s plenty more to get excited about here. From beautiful hand-painted plates brimming with cold cuts and cheese (Antipasto Italiano, B550) to hearty braised lamb shank with rosemary and mashed potatoes (B500), Abruzzo-style beef-and-pork lasagne (B420) and whole baked local sea bass encased in rock salt (B500), the menu is packed with heartwarming dishes inspired by the owner’s family recipes. Be sure to save room for dessert, be it classic tiramisu (B230) or panna cotta (B220). To get a taste of what a big boisterous Italian family gathering is all about, we strongly recommend rallying a group of 10 to visit, which will grant you access to the epic 12-dish sharing menu (B1,500/person), served to the long table in the glasshouse.
The drinks: Opt for the group sharing meal and wine pairing is just B665 for four glasses, which cover everything from white Pecorino Dumi Colline Pescaresi 2018 (B1,650) to red Tenuta Ulisse Montepulcinano d’Abruzzo 2014 (B1,800). A handful of wines are available by the glass (B180-350), while a small Singha will cost you B120.
Why we’d come back: Bangkok is packed with Italian restaurants, but few offer the soulful family cooking that you’ll find here. Every dish we tried was delicious and the prices are incredibly reasonable when matched with the quality.
All prices are before ++