Monday, March 30, 2009

Welcome to L'Olivier!

L'Olivier Restaurant and Cabaret is one of Ybor City's...and Tampa Bay's newest and most unique nightspots. Seriously, outside of Disney or Chuck E. Cheese, where can you find a place that offers dinner and a show anymore? Not to mention a full bar and a dessert menu.

As guests of owner Mike Edmondson and general manager Ricky Ali, I went last Thursday night and brought two companions. We didn't eat dinner there, which was probably a huge mistake because if the desserts are any indication, I'm guessing it would have been fantastic. The service was great too. Our waitress was absolutely charming. I attempted to appear cool and continental by ordering off the menu using what little I've retained from a wasted semester of French in high school, buttressed by the handful of phrases I've picked up from pop songs like "Michelle" and "Psycho Killer" and somehow managed not to offend anyone or order myself a shoe with cheese on it. Success!

You should know that most of the items on the menu are not cheap. But the quality is excellent and as I mentioned before, there's a show. Featuring singing, comedy, pyrotechnics and lots and lots of dancing, it's like a miniature Moulin Rouge right in the heart of Ybor. The cast features Amy and Dex Quijano, Ashely Clark, Megan Morgan, Derek Ostrem and Lamount Davis of Dorene Collier's Event Show Productions and L'Olivier Dancers Ana Jackson, Dani Leporino, Lynette Gryniak and Cleo Young. Most of those girls spent a lot of time flirting with me, which was nice. The time they spent flirting with the other dudes that were there was not nearly as entertaining to me, but what are you gonna do?

Believe it or not, I swear I do not have a "thing" for female impersonators. Drag queens are NOT the reason I went there that night. Ok, sure, maybe they're the reason I stayed for the second show but I just want to defend myself by saying that laying eyes for the first time on Amy DeMilo, well, it's very easy for a poor boy who grew up reading comic books that featured the likes of Wonder Woman, Sheena: Queen of the Jungle, Catwoman, etc. to become...confused. I'm just saying.
The second show also featured performances by Beverly Wilde, Natasha Richards and Felicity Lane.

Both shows were sexy but not lewd. Risque would be a good description. One of my companions is planning on going back this weekend and bringing her parents and I think that's a pretty safe proposition.

So if you're looking for a complete evening out in one place, or if you just believe there's nothing new, good or different to see in Ybor, you owe it to yourself to check this place out.


Denis A. Baldwin said...

Clark - You always find the coolest nightsports. Any idea on the hours they are open? Costs? I'd like to go and do a story on them as time and money permits.

Why, it's Clark! said...

Thanks, Denis!
Yeah, I guess I should have included that, huh?

This is the info I have:

Centro Ybor, 1600 E Eighth Ave., Suite 102, Tampa

(813) 247-5307

Cuisine: French crepes

Hours: 11 a.m. to midnight Tuesday to Sunday; free cabaret shows Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8:30 and 10 p.m.

Details: Amex, V, MC; reservations accepted; full bar

Prices: Dinner crepes $14.95-$19.95, dessert crepes $5.95-$9.50