Distinguished guests enjoyed a fiesta of Spanish delights in Market Rasen last week as new tapas restaurant ‘The Olive’ opened.
A new Spanish haven in the high street flung open its doors last Wednesday to offer guests a taste of a Spanish taverna ahead of its grand opening on June 2.
Tommy Haughey and his partner Chris’s love of Spanish cuisine was ignited by the years they spent working in the Alicante region of Spain.
After returning to the UK and acting as head chef in a local pub, Mr Haughey decided it was time to try something ‘a bit different’.
Mr Haughey said: “We spent seven or eight years in Alicante and came back to live in the Market Rasen area in 2008.
“I was head chef at the Tyrwhitt Arms in Lincoln for five years, then became chef-patron at the Bottle and Glass at Normanby-by-Spital - but decided I wanted to go in a different direction from pub food.”
Mr Haughey started ‘pop-up’ restaurants at another Bottle and Glass in Scothern.
He said: “We started with some themed Mediterranean nights which were very successful.
“Last year we did a summer season there which was very much a Mediterranean style of cooking.
“We completed a winter season in Rothwell and then the opportunity of this location in Rasen opened up.
“We thought it was good opportunity to start a full on Tapas restaurant - there’s nothing quite like it here in Rasen.
“We hope to bring something new and exciting to the town.”
And The Olive does not only have exciting new cuisine in store for the town - but a whole new style of dining.
Mr Haughey said: “Our banner headline is ‘Eat, Drink, Socialise’, and that’s what Tapas is all about - socialising!
“Our ethos is that coming to the Olive is like coming home. You’re not rushed, your table is your table for the night, and you can enjoy as little or as much as you like!”
Partner Chris does everything from being a welcoming face front-of-house, to helping in the kitchen, to keeping the restaurant front sparkling clean - as she also runs a window cleaning business.
She said: “I’ll make sure the place is immaculate at all times. We want it to be a genuine and relaxed Spanish experienced to meet with old friends and new. We can offer bespoke menus as well with a little warning, can cook to the customer’s taste and keep the wine flowing!”
Treats on the menu...
Mr Haughey served up a whole host of famous Spanish tapas dishes last Wednesday, including albondigas, a spicy meatball, patatas bravas, or ‘brave potatoes’ in a rich and spicy tomato sauce, and garlic and lemon grilled chicken pollo con Ajo.
Maket Rasen’s town Mayor John Matthews was among the guests, congratulating Tommy and Chris and praising the ‘lovely’ food, which was met with applause. He said: “If this evening is anything to go by, you will get fantastic support from the town. Congratulations and thank you for your wonderful hospitality.”