For Stepping Stone™ residents, a taste of the Old World requires no passport. Just a quick trip over to the Park Meadows Mall, a few C-470 exits away.
Based in Holland and found in cities across Europe, Oil & Vinegar offers a limited number of US locations, so lucky us to have one close by. If you’re still buying olive oil by the jug at Costco, you’ll definitely want to drop by Oil & Vinegar for enlightenment. And, frankly, entertainment. An “amphora wall” dazzles with more than 50 types of imported oils and vinegars on tap that bear almost no relation to the stuff most of us drizzle. At a tasting table, you can sample their wares and create unique flavor combinations. Experts are on hand to advise and offer cooking suggestions. And not just with the oils and vinegars. The store is a true haven for foodies, stocked mainly with Mediterranean and always artisanal pastas, pestos, tapenades, appetizers, marinades and sauces, dressings, mustards, salts, exotic herb mixes, and more.
Beyond food, Oil & Vinegar sells handcrafted ceramics, culinary accessories, and cookbooks. It’s the kind of place where you can shop with confidence for that last-minute hostess, client, or birthday gift—but know that you’ll probably take home something for yourself too.
Because it is such an educational experience, Oil & Vinegar also offers opportunities for small group gatherings. In-store tasting parties include appetizers, dessert, and beverages with guidance for creative cooking with oils and vinegars.
After venturing this deeply into the foodie world, be warned that grocery store-level products may never taste the same. For example, Oil & Vinegar only sells olive oil from the first pressing—that is, oil that is cold-pressed from the flesh of fresh olives—meaning that it’s mechanically pressed instead of using heat, which tampers with flavor. Also, their olives are early-picked, ensuring maximum health benefits.
This insistence on quality applies to Oil & Vinegar’s other products as well. Which provides a rather lovely foray into the European mindset. Quality over quantity, and a love of savoring the best things in life— which, if you live in Stepping Stone, are happily never far away.