Garry Hughes and Gael Bradbury celebrated a decade in their charming Custume Place restaurant in 2007 - and then moved into these spanking modern waterfront premises just a few yards away in 2008.
Overlooking Athlone castle and with plate glass windows all along the riverside, The Olive Grove may well have the best location of any restaurant on the Shannon.
A major feature is the riverside deck which seats 50 people and is partially covered by an awning, although it is sometimes closed due to bad weather. The main reception area is on a higher level than the restaurant (there is another entrance via the deck) and smartly furnished with comfortable sofas which are ideal for coffee, scones and using the free Wifi which is available for customers’ use.
The main restaurant is long, spacious, and chic, and friendly staff are quick to greet and seat arriving guests, and offer the menu and an extensive wine and cocktail list.
Although there is no supplier list, a generous sprinkling of sources - most of which are in the region - gives menus a strongly local tone and the chargrilled Irish Hereford steaks that are so popular in the midlands take pride of place on the dinner menu, ably backed up by Slaney Valley lamb and Silver Hill duck.
Fish from Kilmore Quay also features strongly - seared scallops, perhaps, served with bon bons of Gilligan Farm black pudding from Roscommon - and imaginative vegetarian dishes include a house nut roast on Thai spiced vegetables and perhaps, a Fivemiletown goats' cheese fritter on balti vegetables.
Daytime menus are more casual and, like the early dinner menu, offer good value. Most lunch dishes, including The Olive Grove pie of the day, are under a tenner, for example, and the homemade Gilligan Farm beefburger topped with bacon Carbery mature Cheddar and served with homemade chips is just €10.
Coeliac friendly dishes are highlighted on all menus.
Desserts include a cheesecake of the day (made with Compsey Creamery cheese) and the excellent Boulaban Farm ice creams from Roscrea
Quite an extensive wine list has good tasting notes and is carefully selected to combine value and quality, with house wines under €20 and very little over the €30 mark.
Overall this is a great place, and especially worth knowing about for its outstanding location, friendly staff and long opening hours.