The Wobbly Olive, a new American restaurant with locations in Old Colorado City and Cinema Point, is the perfect date spot for college students.
The doors open to an intimate and romantic room filled with tall, black-cloaked tables decorated with large standing menus, perfectly folded napkins, and simple green plants. The waiters, dressed neatly in black, greet customers officially and politely. The bartender stands in front of a long shelf with an overwhelming number of liquors, which are explained in detail on the drink menus.
My first impression was one of subtle panic as I questioned whether or not I could afford such a dining experience. The menu, however, offers a wonderful variety at a fair price.
Although only one page, the food menu is packed, offering dishes inspired by several different cuisines. The appetizer selection alone consists of dishes ranging from steamed pork buns and summer lamb kabobs, to buffalo shrimp and baked brie. The “salad + soup + bowl” section of the menu lists a ramen bowl, spicy tuna poke bowl, and a Cuban chicken mojo bowl, all made with fresh ingredients and distinct flavors. None of these filling and delicious options exceed $15.
“We began in Colorado Springs and celebrate Colorado’s diversity in the products on our menus, including available local ingredients, spirits & more,” the website reads. “As we grow, we will balance this with local offerings from each region where we do business.”
The drink menu, on the other hand, takes the form of a big black book, offering pages of options. With their logo taking the shape of a classic martini with olives, it is only appropriate for the first page of the drink menu to offer a selection of martinis.
The organization of the drink options at The Wobbly Olive is like no menu I’ve ever encountered. The first page distinguishes between savory, sweet, floral, and dessert martinis. The following pages offer original cocktail creations, designed by the bartenders themselves, with many ingredients made in house. The menu then takes customers through history, organizing the drink selection by era. Beginning with the Golden Era (1750-1890), which offers drinks such as an Old Fashioned, and a Pimms Cup, the menu transitions to Pre-Prohibition (1890-1919), and eventually Prohibition (1920-1933), before presenting a modern selection of craft beer and wine.
Senior Charles Meyer tried a jalapeño passion fruit martini. “[It was] the perfect mix of sweet, spicy, and floral,” he said.
For many, myself included, this selection would feel absolutely overwhelming, but before I even took a proper glimpse of the selection, the waitress was beside our table to break down the drinks. Happy hour from 4-6 p.m. offers $5 martinis, buy-one-get-one-free wines and draft beers, and $2 off all food items, but even outside of those times, most cocktail prices remain incredibly fair, ranging from $9-12.
“Sean [Fitzgerald, the owner,] had never mixed a drink, never owned a restaurant before he opened it,” said the waitress Alexis Vogelin. “He wanted something different, especially on this side of town.”
We sat outside at the Cinema Point restaurant location, facing the entrance to the Cinemark Movie Theatre. This location has been open for about four years now. Customers also have the option of dining at the new Old Colorado City restaurant location, where instead of feeling suspended in suburbia, patrons are among other craft restaurants and a different community of customers.
“It was nice to be in a new part of the Springs at a place where you can tell they care about hospitality,” said Meyer. “The view from the patio might have been of a mega movie theater and strip mall, but the delicious steamed pork buns and marinated heirloom tomato and beet salad made up for this atmospheric confusion.”
Living on a budget makes it difficult to dine lavishly, but The Wobbly Olive brings fancy cocktails and sophisticated food at a cost that anyone can enjoy.