This is one of my favorite little snacks/nibbles. It’s so simple to make, and it can be served at your most sophisticated dinner parties, or served up in a little bowl just for you while you relaxing at home with a book and a glass of wine. It transforms simple Kalamata Olives and Pickled Cocktail Onions into something that you won’t be able stop eating. Add some lightly salted mixed nuts on the side and you have perfection. I found it at the Rowes Wharf Bar in Boston.
You know those places that you can walk into from a noisy street and within seconds, be transported to a spot that’s quiet, cozy and comfortable? It almost feels like home, but there are no kids or dogs asking for your attention every five minutes. Yeah, you know what I mean!
The Rowes Wharf Bar at the Boston Harbor Hotel is one of our favorite quiet spots. Just look at it, with it’s comfy chairs, dark wood, and non-trendy atmosphere. The staff is incredible, too. They’re there to see to what you want or need, even before you know you need it--always very attentive, refilling glasses and snacks. On one occasion, there was a table of…I want to say kids, because they were so immature, but they weren’t--they were young professionals--still, old enough to know better. They were about ten of them, and they were loud, which I can live with. It’s a bar, after all. Then they had to get louder and start using miscellaneous expletives and totally embarrassing themselves. Someone must have complained (I swear it wasn’t us!), because our waitress went to their table and quickly and quietly got the situation under control. They shut the heck up and we profusely thanked her. See? They’re looking out for you!
The bar snack at Rowes Wharf Bar is this mix of little onions and olives, served alongside mixed nuts. You think it won’t be anything special, but oh, it’s a bit briny from the olives and onions, salty, crunchy--and they'll just keep replenishing your supply! The olives are velvety and the onions give you that little pop--I could go on and on about it, but I’ll just give you the recipe. Oh, how did I get the recipe? I emailed the concierge at the hotel, and she asked the chef. He was kind enough to share and I’m forever grateful!
Herbed Cocktail Onions and Olives
Chef Daniel Bruce, Boston Harbor Hotel
2 cups Pitted Kalamata Olives
2 cups Pickled Cocktail Onions
1/4 cup Balsamic Vinaigrette
1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs,including Parsley, Basil, Thyme and Chives
Salted Mixed Nuts (to serve alongside)
Drain the olives and onions, and put them in a bowl with the vinaigrette and herbs, then toss to incorporate everything.
Store in a covered container and refrigerate for at least four hours so the flavors can mingle.
Serve with nuts and your favorite beverages.
- The balsamic vinaigrette mellows the onions and olives and takes the edge off so they’re a bit more pleasant on the taste buds, and not so sharp. So even if you think the olives and onions will be strong and overpowering, they’re not.
See the archway in the middle of this picture? The hotel entrance where the bar is located is just to the left of the archway. When you’re done at the bar, you can head out this back way and walk along Boston’s Harborwalk at Rowes Wharf. It’s just beautiful with all of the boats docked and the fresh ocean breeze--and the views are spectacular!