Pit Stop

A classic bar snack, elevated

Olives have long held their rightful place at the bar (courtesy of the dirty martini). Now, thanks to a vat of hot oil, the brined fruit is moving from the glass to the plate.

Salty, crunchy fried olives have been a favorite bite-size snack in Italy for centuries, and now they're making delicious inroads on American menus.

Sicilian-born chef Celestino Drago serves a traditional version at his Los Angeles-area restaurant, Drago Centro, where he stuffs Picholine olives with pork sausage and ground chicken before breading and frying them.

At CommonWealth gastropub in Washington, D.C., chef Jamie Leeds takes a zestier approach to the dish: She coats Niçoise and kalamata olives with a lemony panko crust and quickly fries them to make a tart, salty snack (click here to download the recipe).

And at Govind Armstrong's 8 Oz Burger Bar in Miami, chef Jacob Wildman fills large, green Spanish olives (pictured) with house-made chorizo, then amplifies the spice by adding a cayenne-and paprika-spiked panko crust.

Editor's note: CommonWealth Gastropub and 8 Oz Burger Bar have closed.