Night Watch: Wild Olives by Todd English

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Wild Olives by Todd English
5050 Town Center Circle, Ste. 245, Boca Raton.
Call 561-544-8000, or visit here.

Wild Olives by Todd English: The best of Boca's booze-slogging crowd

comes out to sip wine, sample flatbread, and shoot the shit. Possibly,

they also come to peek at the epic cleavage that belongs to the blond

bartender who came limping in shortly after I'd taken a seat at the

big wooden bar to stare pensively at the cocktail menu.

"What happened to you?" a regular slouched over his drink asked her


"They're rough on me here!" The bartender, Anne, laughed and put

her crutches down. She was slender with a magnificent rack and the

kind of face you can stare at for awkward lengths of time.

"I think it's time to quit your part-time wrestling gig," he


"No, I broke my foot," she complained. "It's a stupid story

too: I was in these new five-inch heels -- wedges, of course -- and I

missed the sidewalk. And I wear heels all the time!"

"You need to get someone to carry you around," the regular decided.

"I'd volunteer, but I can barely carry myself around."

Jazz played airily overhead. The bar itself boasted elaborate

paneling, white pillars, big wooden dividers to separate the bar from

the restaurant, and artistic overhead lights. The place had a calm,

laid-back hotel vibe; the shelving boasted scores of back-lit,

carefully turned bottles of expensive booze. Vertical mirrors and

candle-lit tables created a classy, intimate feel. Noah, the slender,

suit-clad manager, told me about Three Olives' ultimate patio-bar


It went something like this: Step 1: Move to the empty

restaurant space next door. Step 2: Open a classy patio bar like the

one Town Center Plaza-mate Rocco's Tacos has (and keeps consistently

packed). Step 3: Serve frozen drinks and make boatloads of money.

"Our clientele is classy," Noah informed me. I thought I heard a

bit of distaste in his voice as he eyed my flip-flops and jeans. (A

minute later, I managed to drop the contents of my purse onto the

slick, polished floor. Classy? I don't do classy.) "We go for

upscale -- we get the country-club members for dinner and a fun crowd

for happy hour.

"People come here for the Todd English name," he continued.

(Apparently, people will travel long distances and spend lots of money

at a bar if it has the name of a world-famous chef in the title.)

"But we specialize most in shots and martinis."

It was true -- the martini menu was to die for. It boasted classics

like the Espresso, Italian Kiss, Appletini. There were also SoFla

specifics: the Bocatini (Three Olives mango vodka, Cointreau,

grenadine) and the Florida Sunset (rum, pineapple juice, grenadine).

Specialty shots included poisons with names like "Jose Meets

Grandma," "Pineapple Upside Down Cake," "Watson Shot," and

"Bartender's Choice" (actual listing on the menu) -- if you

can't make up your mind, trust the bartender to decide. (And you can

trust me, with girls this hot, you'll put in your mouth whatever they

tell you.)

My new metatarsally challenged friend, Anne, assured me that cosmos

and appletinis were the usual favorite drinks and offered to make me a

pretty potion. "What do you like?" she asked.

"Sweet things," I said. "I'm kind of a pussy when it comes to


"I'm going to whip you up something special," she promised and

limped away.

"This place has the best bathroom I've ever seen," Mel told me.

He was a rotund, aging man who comes to Three Olives because it's

close to Rocco's Tacos and, evidently, because the urinals are spic-


He introduced me to his friend, Ed.

"We met in college," Mel said. "First class of FAU -- the two of

us, plus our friend Sam, who passed away not long ago."

They used to party. A lot. "Once, to celebrate one of Sam's

divorces, we partied for 12 hours straight," Mel said. "We ended at

Molokai Bar -- it was open till 4 a.m. back then. You know, there's

a fine line between passing out and going to sleep."

"Oh, I am well aware," I said.

"We always come here because the happy-hour prices are good, and now

that we're retired, we can come out to drink whenever we want," Mel


"Forget being retired," said Ed. "If I'd have known what I know

now, I would have just stayed in college."

A few minutes later, Anne plopped down a beautiful pink concoction in

a long-stemmed glass.

"It's a citrus cosmo -- a regular cosmo with a twist," she told

me. It was delicious, and soon I was looking at the bottom of the glass.

"Have another one," Mel egged me on from his spot down the bar.

"Are you guys trying to turn me into an alcoholic?" I asked.

"You know the difference between an alcoholic and a drunk?" asked

Ed. "Alcoholics have to go to meetings."

I'll drink to that.

Follow County Grind on Facebook and Twitter: @CountyGrind.

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