Trying all the fine dining options Connecticut has to offer brings us to Olea in New Haven.

This Spanish-themed restaurant has some pretty obvious choices, but also some that stand out.

Jamon iberico

Among the world’s most sought-after ham, from a special breed of pigs from one region of Spain who mainly eat a specific type of acorn.

This is excellent.

Very light and very thin, but with a rich taste.

It is almost too thin, but the flavor is solid. A must-have if you are here.

The Rating: Jamon Iberico


Oxtail croquettes

Oxtail is a rich and fatty part of the cow.

These have caramelized onions on the inside, and a little dollop of mustard on top.

These are also very rich in taste.

The combination of oxtail and caramelized onions is spot-on.

The texture may throw some people, as the insides are very mushy but the outer shell is super crisp.

The Rating: Oxtail Croquettes


Padron Peppers

Straightforward, blistered peppers.

We didn’t catch any with heat (wrong season).

There is a little salt, but the main flavor is actually oil and pepper.

Pretty good, but not the best.

The Rating: Padron Peppers


Cochinillo (Suckling pig)

Roast suckling pig, shredded, then folded inside its skin and roasted.

My god, just typing that out makes us sound like monsters.

Anyway, the skin is absolutely perfect, crispy with a salted and fatty taste.

The pork inside was good, but a little light on flavor.

The whole thing is on top of a cheesy polenta-like dish with a herbed wine sauce.

The sauce is good but needed something else to it.

The potato dish underneath was amazing, but the dish cannot live on just skin and potatoes alone.

The Rating: Cochinillo


Solomillo (Tenderloin)


The tenderloin was well grilled and perfectly cooked.

The sauce, a port-wine chimichurri sauce, was salty and tangy and filled with umami.

Even the grilled winter vegetables went well.

Everything about this dish was wonderful.

The Rating: Solomillo


Olea New Haven

Address: 39 High St, New Haven, CT 06510
Hours: Sunday & Monday Closed
Tuesday through Saturday 5pm to 9pm