Olive That and More! Opens On Saturday

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If you ever find yourself substituting olive oil for butter, or consider balsamic vinegar a kitchen staple, you’ll be thrilled to hear that Olive That and More! is opening tomorrow in Upper Montclair.

Owners Steve Lehrhoff and Jennifer O’Sullivan of Verona had been thinking of starting a business for years. Lehrhoff, who was often busy touring the world as Sir Elton John’s band manager, wanted to spend more time with Jennifer and their young son, Graham. When a tree fell on their home during last October’s devastating snowstorm–just as Steve was heading to Latvia for a month—they knew it was time to make a plan. That’s when “the karma train” as Steve calls it, got rolling. They were friends with the owners of the Filling Station in Manhattan’s Chelsea Market, and thought the same business concept–selling high quality olive oils and balsamic vinegars in a comfortable “try before you buy” setting–could work in Montclair. “There’s such a foodie vibe here,” says Jennifer. “It seemed right.”

So when The Garden Shop, located on Bellevue Ave. in the heart of the Upper Montclair business district, went on the market–the couple saw it a good omen. The store’s terracotta walls, decorative green trellises and harlequin–patterned wooden floors perfectly created the old world, stylishly homey atmosphere they desired.

Jennifer, who says olive oil is “almost like the new wine,” is brimming with ideas for various “pairings” of olive oil with foods, and eager to share her expertise with the shop’s customers. For instance, she recommends cooking shrimp scampi with garlic olive oil, and scrambled eggs with black truffle olive oil. Her top choice, however, is lemon olive oil, which she adds to make a delicious, slightly tart pound cake. She says Steve enjoys dipping the moist dessert in blueberry balsamic vinegar—his favorite (And mine, too. The balsamic tang seems to intensify the luscious ripe blueberry flavor.)

Dozens of balsamic vinegars and extra-virgin olive oils from all over the world, including Morocco, Chile, Greece and California, are dispensed from metal drums called fustis. Prices for 375 milliliter bottles begin at $16.95. You can even create your own gift set of three smaller bottles starting at $20.

The shop also stocks a large section of sea salts—from black, pungent Hiwa Kai, to delicate pink Himalayan. O’Sullivan says they’re excellent for adding another layer of flavor to your dishes. You can purchase cookbooks, soaps and gorgeous Tunisian olive wood items such as bowls, cutting boards and serving trays in the store as well. And don’t forget the olives.

Olive That and More!
246 Bellevue Ave.
Montclair N.J.
(973) 744-7175
hours:
10-7pm, Tues. through Sun.

9 COMMENTS

  1. So now we’ll have a choice of buying expensive olive oil on Bellevue Avenue or Rockland, Maine (plus the olive oil store in Short Hills Mall).

  2. I for one hope to be first in line tomorrow to buy some of these wonderful products and help support this new local business owned by this lovely local couple.

  3. Oh to Howard Beale they aren’t forcing you to go to their store or any other places! These oils are all pure and natural the real stuff not like mazola or other crappie oils! Me my favorite olive oils is from Greece it’s the best olive oil in the world!

  4. We just bought delicious balsamic pomegranate vinegar and basil oil. The place is beautiful and welcoming. Jen and Steve know their product. Nice place for gifts, too.

  5. Elizabeth, my comment was directed more to the msasis post that they went to a similar store in Rockland, Maine. What does that have to do with anything? And isn’t the olive oil expensive compared to jug olive oil?
    That said, I also wish them luck and we will be going to see the selection. There are Israeli olive oils we like and maybe they will have a few to try.

  6. The blueberry balsamic is amazing. I visited the store, and purchased a bottle the other day. My husband and I have had it over ice cream several times this past week. I also love the infused olive oils (butter, garlic, basil, sun-dried tomato and parm) which really add a lot of flavor to sauteed vegetables, pasta, or meats. It’s a lovely little shop, and we are excited to go back.

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