When Purple Olive opened its doors in 2004, the Atkins diet was going strong. With this in mind, chef and owner Peter Kenney formulated a menu that would allow patrons to construct dishes piece by piece. With upwards of 12 entrees, sauces, condiments, and side items to work with, there are countless meal variations waiting to be crafted.
The variety you’ll find on the menu didn’t get there arbitrarily. Purple Olive’s menu is a reflection of Peter’s rich culinary history and progression, including training in Italy under a French chef during grape and olive season (which became the inspiration for Peter and his wife, Deidre, to choose the name). The other chefs contribute culinary styles that vary from Southern to Cuban, and French to Asian.
Take, for example, the Sesame Ginger Tofu. It’s a prime example of a meal created to be comprehensive. The tofu is packed with 22 grams of protein and paired with a serving of jasmine rice and a colorful vegetable medley of purple cabbage, red bell peppers, shredded carrots, and broccoli.
Initially, the tofu is crusted with sesame seeds and cornstarch for a serious and unexpected crunch. It’s finished off with wheat-free soy sauce, ground ginger, and sweet chili glaze. Cutting into the crust reveals tofu disguised as white meat chicken and the consistency is favorable. No gummy texture here.
The rice is prepared traditionally and infused with rice wine vinegar and a sweet sauce. Neither is overbearing; rather they come together to lend a subtle sweet and savory blend. The vibrant vegetable medley is sautéed in a fermented tamari sauce. Ultimately, this meatless dish manages to cover several food groups and will leave you satisfied. You might even take part of the meal home and enjoy leftovers the next day.
Those who tend to see geometry in everything will appreciate the precisely executed presentation of the triangular tofu and dome-shaped rice serving. Each corner of the rectangular plate is marked with a forty-five-degree angle segment of soy sauce.Dispelled are the stigmas of bland and one-track vegetarian dishes. The Sesame Ginger Tofu is a meal both vegetarians and carnivores can agree on.
Purple Olive is located at 4255 A1A South. You can visit them online at www.purple-olive.com.