When it came time for him to break out on his own, Riccardo Biella chose not to go very far. After 10 years of working in his family’s restaurants, he opened Olivera’s in 2002, melding the cuisines of Italy and the United States and adding some Mexican touches, in a cavernous space framed by exposed stone and dark brown wainscoting. Pasta dishes with house-made sauce slide onto tables alongside steak and seafood entrees, and pizzas roll into strategically placed and propped-open laptop bags to deliver kalamata olives, feta, bacon, and baby spinach. Signature burritos come drenched in spiced sauce that's made from scratch and paired with sides of sour cream and salsa, the latter of which is also made in-house.
Sports games flash across the faces of a smattering of flat-screen televisions, arranged so that almost every seat in the house has a good view of the NBA slam-dunk contest or the NFL touchdown dance-off.