Restaurant Review Oleana
134 Hampshire Street
Hours: 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.; 7 nights/week
Finally I am getting back into the real world and telling you about the excellent restaurants we have been to lately. On Mother's Day, we went to a matinee in Boston and then to dinner at Oleana in Cambridge. The day was chilly so we did not select a table outside, though a few brave souls did. I think in summer this lovely patio with flowers and vines would be the spot to eat. Chef and owner Ana Sortun was formerly at Casablanca and a long time ago at Aigo in Concord.
Things were moving at a slow pace and to make the atmosphere a little more comfortable, the manager offered all the waiting guests a free drink of their choice on the house. This gracious offering really set things off on a good note.
The Mother's Day menu was different from the rest of the year, so I will not suggest offerings from that menu. The menu at Oleana is imaginative and not outrageously priced. Here is a list of their normal selections (some of these may change seasonally). Under "Pret À Manger:" Spicy carrot puree and Egyptian spice mix with nuts and olive oil for $3, Armenian bean and walnut paté with homemade string cheese for $4 (very good!), and deviled eggs with tuna and black olives for $3. Appetizers included chopped romaine salad with gold beets, herbs and walnuts for $7, ( I had this and it was excellent), grilled asparagus with goat cheese and lentil vinaigrette for $9, and grilled shrimp and rice cake with egg-lemon sauce and cinnamon for $9.
For grains and greens, we could select spicy fideos and chick peas with Swiss chard and orange aioli for $7 or $14 (main course) or ricotta and bread dumplings with porcini and braised lettuce $7 or $14 (as a main course). The fish selection included monkfish with artichoke and lemon, braised with fig and fennel and a broiled baby sole with raki, crab and eggplant soufflé. Shredded pork empanada with spinach, pine nuts and rhubarb for $17, grilled lamb steak with Turkish spices and fava bean moussaka for $19 and almond fried chicken with red rice, beans and provencal herbs for $17 stood out as meat entrees.
These are only a few of the selections in each group. The wines were reasonably priced and the service, in spite of the crowd, was quite good. They specialize in homemade ice cream and additionally have their own pastry chef.
Reservations are definitely recommended and there is parking across the street in a small lot in front of the E.L.I. building at 139 Hampshire St. (ask when you call).
Soccer pick-up games for kids
Summer soccer pick-up games for children in grades one through five are starting this Sunday, July 15, and will continue every Sunday until the fall soccer season begins. Games are played from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Alcott School in Concord.
Enjoy Canal Heritage Days at Lowell
On Saturday, August 11, and Sunday, August 12, Lowell National Historical Park and the Middlesex Canal Museum and Visitor Center will host Canal Heritage Days, two full days of tours and programs commemorating America's early canal heritage.
All programs and events are free for both days. Boat tours are free only on Saturday, August 11. For additional information, contact Lowell National Historical Park, 67 Kirk Street, Lowell, or call 1-978-970-5000 or visit the web site at www.nps.gov/lowe/canalheritage.
Origami masters to perform in Concord
Michael LaFosse, origami master, will present his popular program on origami in the Children's Room of the Concord Free Public Library, 129 Main Street, Concord, on August 1 promptly at 7 p.m. Participants will have the opportunity to make origami objects under Michael's direction. This program is intended for children age ten years and up.
Origami instructor Joyce Saler will present a program on storigami, which combines the craft of origami with the art of telling stories. Joyce's workshop will take place on August 15 at 7 p.m. in the Concord Free Public Library children's room, 129 Main Street, Concord. Participants will have the opportunity to create pieces of origami within the context of three stories. This program is intended for children age 9 years and up.
These free events require no registration. Please be on time. For information, call 1-978-318-3358.
Harvard Community Theatre announces auditions for 'Rumors'
The Harvard Community Theatre will hold auditions on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, July 17, 18 and 19, for a September production of the comedy "Rumors" by Neil Simon.
The story is set in the townhouse of a New York City deputy mayor. He and his wife have invited four couples over to celebrate their tenth wedding anniversary. The party never begins, though, because it is revealed that the host has shot himself and his wife is missing. His lawyer decides on a cover-up, which gets progressively more difficult to sustain as the other guests arrive, and nobody can remember who has been told what about whom. The couples become more and more crazed trying to sort everything out as the audience is taken on a roller-coast ride of hilarity.
The lead cast calls for five women and five men aged 2555. Auditions will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Cronin Auditorium at the Bromfield School on Route 111 in Harvard. Actors need only be prepared for a cold reading of the script.
Production dates are planned for September 15, 16, 21 and 22. The production will also be the Harvard Community Theatre's entry for the Eastern Massachusetts Association of Community Theatres' Festival, at Brandeis University, in May 2002. For further information call 1-978-456-3454.
Concord Public Library summer music series
Dance to swing, jazz and bossa nova with the music of Susan Mooring and the Mark Shilansky Trio on the front lawn of the Concord Free Public Library, 129 Main Street, Concord. The concert will be on July 25 at 7 p.m. and is part of the summer music series sponsored by the Friends of the Concord Free Public Library. Bring a picnic supper. The rain location for the concert is the Emerson Umbrella Center for the Arts, 40 Stow Street, Concord. For more information, call 1-978-318-3358.
Admission-free nights at Concord Museum
Summer evenings are the perfect opportunity to come to the Concord Museum with family, friends or out-of-town guests. Visit for the first time or revisit favorite galleries and the special exhibitionsall free on Wednesday evening, July 18, and Wednesday evening, August 29, from 5 to 8 p.m.
This summer's special exhibition, "Everything Old is New Again: Recent Acquisitions at the Concord Museum," offers a unique opportunity to enjoy a broad spectrum of recently acquired historic artifactsfrom a bass drum and music used by the Concord Junction Brass Band in the early 1900s to an elegant 1812 silk needlework made by a Concord schoolgirland to have a rare glimpse into the collecting practices of one of the oldest and most distinguished history and decorative arts museums in the country.
The Concord Museum is located in Concord, at the intersection of Lexington Road and Cambridge Turnpike. The museum is wheelchair accessible, air-conditioned and has ample free parking on Cambridge Turnpike. For further information contact the Concord Museum at 1-978-369-9609 (taped information;1-978-369-9763 (reservations); e-mail: cm1@concord museum.org; web site: www. concord museum.org.
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