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New York Times

"It has been ages since I have eaten at a place that lifted my spirits the way Oliva in New Preston did recently... What dazzles and delights is Chef Aamar's audacity in combining so many assertive flavors with fresh ingredients. Every dish, even his first-rate pizza with creative toppings, was superb...

Oliva, with such a talented and fearless chef, is, as the guidebooks say, well worth a detour.

- Rated Excellent -

Patricia Brooks, 2003

Litchfield County Times:

"...Oliva Cafe... manages to exude the atmosphere of places that epitomize the mingling of memory and desire somewhere in Tuscany, perhaps, or Provence. The alchemy practiced by Oliva is so persuasive because it lacks artifice or conceit... "

"Long Live Oliva"

- Passport, Winter, 2004

Litchfield County Times:

"Oliva, that gem of Mediterranean warmth run so lovingly by Chef Riad Aamar and his wife, Joanna Lawrence..."

- 2005

Litchfield County Times Monthly:

"Chef Riad Aamar and his wife, Joanna Lawrence, have always demonstrated that Oliva is a place that understands the soul as much as the palate... and that means a menu filled with satisfying warm and rich dishes with heritages that touch northern Italy, the Mediterranean and northern Africa"

- Oct. 2007

Depatures Travel Guide:

"...a lively Mediterranean menu. His (Riad Aamar) dishes reflect bright flavor combinations, such as a salad of grilled corn, cucumbers, red onions, tomato and mint, or roasted Moroccan chicken with rosemary, mixed spices and pomegranate sauce."





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