A Sandwich a Day: Italian Picnic at Olio in Richmond, VA
Olio is a bistro, market, and caterer with two locations in Richmond, Virginia. At Olio "In the Fan" (a largely residential district in which the streets fan out from Monroe Park), the bistro brims with delectable items: meats and cheeses, salads, roasted vegetables, and more in the showcases, and gourmet ingredients on the shelves to continue inspired cooking at home.
I knew I wanted a sandwich that would take advantage of the quality bread, meat, cheese, produce, and condiments I was seeing. There were lots of tempting choices on the menu, but my love of stinky cheese tilted my decision to the Italian Picnic ($8.49). The sandwich features a generous portion of freshly sliced, house-roasted turkey that's nice and moist. Granny Smith apples add crunchiness, their sweetness combining with that of the fig jam to be a good counterbalance to the Taleggio cheese. The cheese melts slightly on the fresh-baked, warm baguette, which is slathered with garlic aioli spread for extra zing. Each bite of the sandwich reveals the mingling of all the flavors.
On a different day, I might have had a bottle of wine, as Olio has a cellar with over 450 bottles of all varieties from around the world, served at no corkage fee. (There are also 100 beers on hand, again without markup.) A nice bottle of Italian wine with that Italian Picnic sandwich would make an ideal foundation for the start of an indoor or outdoor picnic.
About the author: Jay Friedman is a Seattle-based freelance food writer who happens to travel extensively as a sex educator. An avid fan of noodles (some call him "The Mein Man"), he sees sensuality in all foods, and blogs about it at his Gastrolust website. You can follow him on Twitter @jayfriedman.