Head chef and co-owner Manuel Romero and his team draw from their Spanish roots and Mediterranean influences to create authentic cuisine with an innovative twist. No one knows Spanish cooking better than Romero, a native of Galicia, Spain. People often associate Spanish food with Paella when in actuality there is so much more versatility. Romero demonstrates the limitless possibilities through his inventive menu that fuses fresh, original ideas with traditional favorites. Each dish effortlessly pairs ingredients to create a perfectly palatable medley.Awaken your inner foodie by opting for the Chef’s Tasting menu. From Monday through Friday, guests can sample a variety of dishes specially prepared by the chef for just $65 per person.

Inspired by New Haven’s popular Restaurant Week, the Prix Fixe menu consists of three courses. Choose one appetizer, entrée and dessert for just $34. Expect traditional Spanish dishes that change seasonally.

Enjoy an assortment of small plates from the Tapas menu at the bar only. The tapas are ideal for sharing and a good way to try a variety of items to discover your preferences.

For starters, order the Gazpacho, a traditional Spanish soup made with tomatoes, cucumber, bell peppers, aged sherry vinegar, bread tuile, and marcona almond cloud. The perfect start to any meal, the gazpacho is light and flavorful.

Another favorite appetizer, is the Jamón Ibérico, acorn fed pata negra (black pork) comparable to Italian Prosciutto. Jamón Ibérico is considered the finest ham in Spain.

A truly unique spring/summer selection is the Beet Roll featured as a nightly special. The beet is stuffed with guacamole and topped with crab meat and green apples. This Peruvian inspired dish is bursting with flavor, light and refreshing.

The Pulpo y Socarrat is a must order appetizer for those who favor unique dishes. Spanish octopus leg prepared a la plancha (on the grill) served over burnt saffron rice with lemon aioli, Spanish paprika oil and heirloom tomatoes. The smoky octopus combines with the crunchy texture of the burnt rice to create a distinctive taste. The presentation of the dish alone is impressive. This is certainly not an item that you would see often.

Croquetas de Rabo oxtail-wild mushroom croquettes, port wine-oxtail jus, caramelized onions and dijon mustard. The crispy outside texture mixed with the creamy center creates a savory and rich composition.

A hearty and satisfying choose is the Lamb Stew. This entrée is comprised of slow cooked lamb shank, white beans, tomato, celery, carrots, potatoes and white wine. Perfect for a cool evening, this dish is the ultimate comfort food.

The Deconstructed Cannoli-Misu presents the best of both worlds by combining a cannoli and tiramisu. This decadent dessert is served with cocoa soil, mascarpone mousse, tía maría gelatin, lady fingers and coffee sauce.

Romero loves what he does, “I’m Lucky to be able to work where I enjoy myself. I try to convey that enjoyment in the food that I prepare for my guests. Eating is a way of celebrating life. My goal is to give people a different experience than they typically find at other restaurants. That is why I strive to create dishes that aren’t easy to find elsewhere.”

When you love what you do, it is evident in the end result. Romero has successfully blended tradition with modernity to produce interesting menu items that are delicious and unprecedented.

It is said that the Spanish live longer, more fulfilling lives do to their lifestyle. Their “secret” is work less and eat simple, quality meals. Get a taste of this lifestyle at Olea.

For more information visit: http://www.oleanewhaven.com/

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