The annual list, which is published in this month's Restaurant Issue and already available online, chose places that â€śrepresent the new standard: simple, satisfying local foodâ€”all served with zero pretense." Olivia, the brainchild of husband-and-wife team James and Cristina Holmes, was cited for its "riffs on comfort-food classics":
There's only one thing on the walls of Olivia: a Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings concert poster that chef James Holmes's grandfather gave to him. The imageâ€”two groundbreaking country music legends from Texasâ€”captures the spirit of this sophisticated yet laid-back spot. The restaurant's clean art-gallery-esque interior really shows off the posterâ€”and Chef Holmes's food. He gathers his culinary inspiration from (and in) his backyard vegetable garden. The resulting menu includes produce-based dishes like risotto made with squash and greens, and spinach-potato gnocchi with olives and tomatoes. Holmes is also fond of riffs on comfort-food classics, like spaghetti cooked in red wine and the milk-braised pork shoulder here. The diverse clienteleâ€”a tattooed musician on his way to a show or an operagoer dressed to the ninesâ€”only adds to Olivia's considerable charm.
Other restaurants on the list include Houston's Feast, Bar Jules in San Francisco, and No. 7 in Brooklyn. As part of the recognition, the chefs of Olivia shared with Bon Appetit their recipe for Milk-Braised Pork Shoulder with Semolina Gnocchi, which you can check out for yourself.