There is really nothing I like better than grilled food. With summer weather still a few weeks off, and cooler weather dragging on this spring, I decided to buy a large cast iron grill pan and get my summer food fix on….
For me, the simpler the prep the better: brush with a delicious, high quality olive oil or balsamic vinegar, sprinkle with sea salt and pepper and an herb or two. Each has its merits: A light marinade of oil lets the natural sweet and savory flavors of the food come through, while a good balsamic can add a rich layer of character that really enhances produce and meats.
With visions of grilled veggie platters dancing in my head, Tori and I made a trip to The Olive Tap in Wayland Square in Providence, RI to shop. The Olive Tap specializes in freshly pressed 100% extra virgin olive oils and perfectly aged balsamic vinegars from some of the best producers found in Italy, Greece, Spain, and California.
While there are detailed descriptions of each oil and vinegar provided with each gleaming canister, the best part of coming to The Olive Tap is the tasting. Being able to sample the product and buy varying sized bottles is great for trying new flavors or stocking up on favorites. There are many infused oils and vinegars with added notes of herbs, citrus, berries, chocolate, and mushrooms to choose from, being able to smell, taste and experience the texture makes it much easier to select which of this tempting assortment to buy!
We also got excellent advice and recommendations from lovely and knowledgable Nora!
She told us about The Olive Tap’s tasting events held on Friday nights with an inviting range of themes like Taco Night, Cooking with Coffee, and Pistachio. She also showed us their selection of savory sea salts, rubs and other seasonings to brighten up your dishes.
To complete your meal, this location also conveniently stocks local producer Venda Ravioli’s delicious line of pasta – one stop shopping for dinner! They also offer a number of wonderful “Made in RI” products including Hauser Chocolates from our old hometown of Westerly. Try The Olive Tap’s custom Hauser flavor: Black Vinegar.
Time for us to decide. We ended up buying one herb infused oil and two fruit vinegars this trip. The olive oil is an Herbs de Provence which was said to pair perfectly with one of the vinegars – a Pear White Balsamic. We’ll use the oil tonight to grill some chicken and the vinegar on a salad of baby greens with Pear, Goat Cheese and Toasted Pine Nuts. The other vinegar we purchased is a Strawberry White Balsamic we’ll use to try a Roasted Balsamic Strawberry Vinaigrette recipe I found on Pinterest.
We’ve never tried the White Balsamics before. We loved that The Olive Tap has cards like the one pictured here tucked in between the canisters with suggestions on how to use these products in new and interesting ways….
So! Armed with these new flavor enhancers, I’m ready to christen my new grill pan and experience the tastes of summer I was craving!
Monday – Wednesday & Saturday: 11am – 7pm,
Thursday: 11am – 8pm,
Friday: 11am – 9pm,
Sunday: 11am – 5pm
485 Angell Street
Providence, RI 02906
On-street parking can be found on all around Wayland Square but usually you can find a spot on Angell Street or South Angell Street. You also have the option of receiving validation for 1 free hour of parking in the lot located on Medway Street.