Bombay Out, Ollies In

Jim Hamann sent this photo and a bit of news along:

bombay grill

Apparently the Bombay Grill at 137 N. Market has closed (I swear it was open on Saturday). The windows are covered, but a notice is written that ‘Olives,’ an Italian restaurant, will be moving in soon.

Well at least the spot doesn’t seem like it will be vacant long.

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64 thoughts on “Bombay Out, Ollies In

  1. I believe it was even open on Sunday, I swear I walked by it without noticing the sign. I had been meaning to try it (for 2 years now!) but never got around to it.

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  2. Bombay WAS open as of last Saturday! That is a shame. There used to be an Olives restaurant in DC, part of the Todd English group, but that has closed.

    Totally agree with Jonathan, another Italian joint is not necessary.

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  3. I ate there Friday, it was definitely open with absolutely no indication that it was closing. Nothing was “packed away”, food was excellent, normal staff was there.

    I didn’t believe it when my co-worker told me yesterday, but there ya go.

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  4. Where else can i find good Indian food in Fredneck? Any suggestions? I always end up at the same place all the way down in Rockville. Who makes really good samosas?

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    • Nilgiris is in the plaza off 85 with the Common Market and Gold’s Gym. It’s pretty good. I’ve also heard good things about Clay Oven but have never been there either.

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  5. I agree about not needing yet another Italian restaurant. Someone needs to clue the owners in to this website. If we’re saying it we’re probably not alone in the city. Really good Chinese would have been nice if another Indian one couldn’t make a go of it.

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  6. Actually we do need an Italian restaurant–one that serves real Italian food as opposed to the mediocre Americanized meals at Nidos and Il Porto. Same sweet red sauce on everthing? Covered in gooey cheese or bland flavors and onvercooked pasta? I love Bombay and am sad to look for Indian elsewhere, but should this new place be authentic, I will welcome it. There’s a wealth of amazing Italian dishes out there that no local place I know of serves-or makes properly.

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  7. I agree with Bea — not to slam Nido’s and Il Porto — family friendly, cheap etc. I’m glad they are there. Il Porto in particular has great people. But I’d love a real Italian place downtown — think Il Pizzico in Rockville — here’s their dinner menu – no comparison to what we have:
    http://www.ilpizzico.com/menu.shtml

    I’m rooting for Olives to be that place.

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  8. Jennifer–I love Il Pizzico and that was in my mind when I wrote when I did. I am also hoping that Olives will also try to stay affordable too–and yes, Il Porto’s and Nido’s staffs are both wonderful–so this could be a different niche. Like Cacique vs La Paz etc

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  9. While I hate to see a restaurant go out of business, Bombay Grill lost me years ago. When they first opened, we were thrilled to have a place to go where the food was well seasoned, portions were fare and taste was great. Sadly, over time, we found the quality of the food deteriorated. Though some menu items still delighted, most of them were poor renditions of the authentic flavors we once enjoyed.

    I’d love to see a great Italian restaurant downtown. NOte to Jennifer – I’m an Il PIzzico fan myself! Food is fabulous and ambience very old-world.

    So – is Olive a Michael Tauraso venture? I heard that he was considering opening an Italian restaurant one of these days…

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  10. Looked up Olives. It looks like executive chef Todd English has various restaurants by this name all ‘famous’ and upscale similar to possibly “Volt’. If this is the case, can not wait!!!

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    • Wow! I just looked that up and if it is one of his restaurant’s, we’d better start making reservations now. Looks very much like an Italian version of Volt. And since Volt is so fabulously successful and hard to get into, I’m pretty sure Frederick could support another restaurant of that caliber. The Todd English name alone will attract from all over and those patrons will come here to eat and shop and stay in hotels. It’s all a good thing.

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    • Before anyone rushes off to Anne’s Steakhouse, please search and read reviews on line. After reading the other reviews of Anne’s Steakhouse and Seafood on Patrick Street I know it wasn’t just our imagination…our recent “meal” there was a real disappointment. The fact that there was only one other table occupied on a busy weekend evening should have been the tip off, but as one other reviewer wrote, it looks very nice from the outside.

      We were there a total of an hour and spent the first 25 minutes waiting for tea, then another 15 minutes for our appetizers to arrive. At that point we asked that the bill and soup/sandwich be brought right away. All were lukewarm and unappetizing.

      I sincerely hope our server has a “day job” because I don’t think she can support herself on tips! I used to be a waiter and always start at 20% tip when I walk in the door – then the actual tip either goes up or down, depending on service. We left no tip on this occasion which I only do in the very worst situations.

      Appetizers looked amateurish and poorly put together. Mine was not edible and my companion’s was OK. Our server had no comment when she took away my appetizer, minus one bite. Both of our main selections were hot dishes, and both arrive lukewarm, as if they had been prepared and left sitting for 20+ minutes before being plopped down in front of us in a “take it or leave it” manner.

      When we asked to speak to the manager we were told there was none on duty, and that the same chef who had (not)cooked our meal had the final say as to whether we had to pay for our partially cooked food. His/Her verdict, we had to pay over $30 and left hungry.

      The only apology came from the water server who came to our table much more often than our waitress. A great place to go if you are on a water diet, but Frederick has so many wonderful restaurants please visit one of them and avoid Anne’s Steakhouse and Seafood on Patrick Street!

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  11. Yes, Patrick’s now has Anne’s Steakhouse. Watch out for the prime rib. I like my meat served rare and got it medium. Not even a hint of pink. I complained stating if you don’t have it in rare, don’t serve me something I didn’t ask for. Haven’t tried anything else on the new menu. Their burgers are very good and quite tasty.

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  12. Totally not cool!

    Bombay… their food at lunch time wasn’t always great, but at dinner it was consistently awesome.

    Yes there is other good indian food around Frederick.- Clay oven is decent, though they tend more towards just HOT rather than spiced, and Nilgiris is awesome. But they’re NOT in downtown where it’s walkable, which was half the fun of Bombay on a first Saturday. Driving to a suburban shopping center really does ding the experience of going out to eat a bit.

    😦

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  13. Oh MAN, a dim sum place would be a perfect fit for downtown! I fear that some sort of No Chinese spell was placed over the area, though, what with Rainbow and then Asian Buffet (or whatever that place was called when it went in to the empty Rainbow building and was open for about 20 minutes in the late 90s). The family that once owned Hunan Gourmet on 7th St and now owns a pan-Asian place in Thurmont (tasty! really!) was considering another Frederick venture…I wonder if they’d do it…

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  14. It is the same owner. Olives is opening tonight. The owner needs to reopen the new restaurant quickly to keep the same liquor license.

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  15. I felt that Bombay Grill dropped the ball 3-4 years ago. What happened is clear: New manager, different cook. I don’t think the new team was guilty of serving McIndian fare, but the flavors did change overnight, and I wasn’t happy. But the thing is, Indian cuisine varies from region to region, and many of us couldn’t make the shift. And I’m no expert. I recently ragged on a curry concoction to an Indian friend, telling her it was seriously different from those I was accustomed to. She–a professional chef–told me it was authentic. Just from a different region. Huh.

    Most every cuisine is Americanized, be it Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Thai, Mexican, Italian, and more. But that shouldn’t surprise. If Lucky Corner or Thai Rice served up 100% authentic fare and refused to accommodate American tastes, they wouldn’t long survive. Few of us could tolerate the intense spicy heat, or the relative absence of sugar and fat. Same with Japanese teppanyaki, which is about as old-school Nipponese as Tom Cruise is a samurai warrior. Ultimately, most food we eat is fusion, although some is admittedly far better than others.

    My vote goes for a downtown Lebanese restaurant–run by Nezih Pistar, of Fountain Rock fame.

    And someone should force the owner of Asiana to clean up her eyesore, or sell.

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  16. With regard to Asiana – – absolutely. Where’s the historic committee (sorry, don’t know the official name) on this??? It is a hideous eyesore smack in the midst of Market Street among nice restaurants and shops. Seems like the owner may be someone with a serious case of the “By God” ‘s as in “By God it’s worth what I want for rent and I’m not going to take any less!” and “By God I’m right and everyone else is wrong!” Start heaping fines on the owner for the eyesore that it is in the midst of an historic district and see how fast the rent comes down.

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    • In regards to Asiana restaurant, the front soffit on top of the building seems to be sagging. I’m not an architect or a structural engineer, but I know that the sagging soffit is an indication that water has penetrated into where the roof meets the front wall. Eventually I think that will collapse. Whoever owns the building should address this issue before it kills people in the building and the street below.

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  17. I am pretty sure the Asiana owner is the notorious “dragon lady” responsible for most of the eyesores on north market too. It’s an embarrassment that the city acts like its hands are tied when it comes to her properties. As far at the HPC, they care more about Volt’s signage than they do about the Ro (sp??) abandoned buildings. And MMRobb, I am now so hungry after your post.

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  18. Bea, you are correct. She owns Asiana, and I believe owns the building That Cuban Place is from, which is why they are going to be moving next year because she keeps raising rent. Or so I’ve been told!

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  19. The owner of the Asiana property owns many other rundown properties downtown and uses Asiana as a tax write-off, I hear, explaining why that prime real estate has remained empty for 5+ years, and looks shameful. As word goes, she doesn’t care what the facade looks like, as long as she gets to claim the loss on her taxes. People who claim to know her say she is exceptionally belligerent and oppositional, and delights in tell city officials to go to hell. It shouldn’t surprise that many of her former tenants cannot stand her. Sadly, city officials just don’t know how to play hardball. The only thing people like that respect is a show of strength.

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  20. The public record shows that the owners are Dr. Myung D Ro (a Frederick-based anesthesiologist) and his charming wife, Duk H. Ro.

    I’m guessing they aren’t seventh generation Frederick residents.

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  21. As far as I can tell Orchard is just on vacation. At least that is what the sign says. Also, Annie’s Steakhouse is just part of Patrick’s, not a separate restaurant.

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  22. We ate at Orchard Friday, and they warned us they would be closed this week — it’s just their annual vacation. No worries — they’ll be back.

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    • So according to the article the chef is the former owner of Hagan’s Tavern. The same owner that shut it down because he was “tired of the restaurant business” (as I remember reading somewhere)? Sorry, if it is him I’d have preferred he kept Hagan’s open. He shut down the only restaurant we had with that kind of “period” atmosphere and the food was always wonderful and now it sits empty, apparently for no good reason. I’m tempted to stay out of Olive’s just for that reason alone. If he was “tired” of the business then maybe he should have just “retired.” It it’s not him, my apologies – – – still just very upset at the closure of Hagan’s.

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  23. ate at Olives this week and it was delicious–had the grilled tuna and white beans with capers, shallots, prosciutto. The flavors were light.And the panna cotta was amazing. Again very subtle and not too sweet. Still working on service (it was slow) but the place was packed and I can’t wait to go again.

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  24. I’d like to try Olives soon. We were downtown last night for First Saturday and I could see the place was full. Menu that was displayed looked nice with a good variety of foods. Seems reasonably priced (pizzas $10-$12), panini’s ($7-8), pasta dishes in the $12-16 range and some veal dishes in the $24 range with other dishes under $24. If the portions are decent, I think this should be a great place. I don’t mind spending money but wouldn’t want to walk away still hungry. 🙂

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  25. I can hardly wait to eat at Olives. Jeff Reinhard is probably one of the best chefs in the state of Maryland. This new venture sounds like something amazing and Reinhard’s food will probably attract a lot of attention in the media. Another great concept with a very high profile chef in the Frederick area-AWESOME.

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  26. I closed Hagan’s Tavern because I was losing a lot of money there, not because I was “tired of the restaurant business”. It was my life’s dream. With hindsight I would have closed it earlier. You really shouldn’t believe everything you read in the paper. Being a chef for me is about 1000 times more gratifying than being a restaurant owner. I actually get paid to do what I love to do.

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  27. My husband and I dined at Olive’s this past Thursday and we loved the food. We were served huge olives and olive flavored bread sticks to start. These are different than the bread sticks you get at other restaurants. These are thicker and so much better.

    For our appetizer we had the fried calamari (tasty and not rubbery). Another choice I wanted to try (next time) was the meatballs stuffed with goat cheese. Tony had the veal and eggplant parmesan (the best he’s had in quite some time and his family is from Naples Italy, so he’s a picky eater when it comes to Italy foods – if the red sauce is good he’s happy), and I had the pappardelle bolognese (also very good and I liked the fact that some of the meat was in chunks rather than ground – I travel to Italy a lot and this is one of my favorite dishes to order, although it typically has wild boar meat in the sauce). Nice wine selection. No dessert this time, but we definitely want to go back. I felt the prices were very reasonable and portions perfect.

    We met the manager, Leanne, who was happy to hear we enjoyed our dinner.

    We had arrived without reservations but there were 5-6 empty tables. By the time we left, the place was filled. I didn’t understand the art on the walls, as it reminded me of Gauguin’s Tahitian women with flowers in their hair, although not in the rough sense. Certainly not an Italian theme but overall a lively environment.

    Glad to have Olives in town!

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    • Monica:

      I wish I had the opportunity to have your experience. Made a reservation (Wed the 1st) for 3 at 7pm for Saturday the 4th. I should have known I was in trouble when the young man taking my reservation over the phone said” Hold on I need to write this down.” I dropped my wife and son just before 7 at Olives and headed off to park. Got a call 2 minutes later from my wife saying they had no reservation for us under my name. No tables to be had. Picked up my family, drove up a block to VOLT and had a great dinner in their courtyard instead.

      The restaurant reservation is a trust thing. Olives is not on Open Table, though I see they have a website. Next time I’ll make the reservation in person and watch it go in the book.

      I wanted to try it. Chad from VOLT is now working there, and he is a great bartender and all around great guy. I’ll do a walk-in on Monday or Wednesday when he is there. Bill C.

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  28. Bill, sorry to hear about your reservation problem and I certainly understand. Good service begins at the door (and telephone). We actually ate there again on the 2nd and 4th. For the 4th, I had called to make reservations. Knowing it was “First Saturday” I figured it would be tough to get in. Sure enough, I was told there were no tables until after 9:30pm. So, we decided to just wing it for the evening. We ended up walking in to Olives about 8:30pm and there were 2 seats at the bar. The place was packed.

    I posted some food photos on my blog from two of our dinners: http://monicapileggi.blogspot.com/2010/08/new-italian-restaurant-in-frederick.html

    I couldn’t find a web site for them.

    Monica

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