A big wooden heart, carved from oak, hanging near the entrance is more than a highly-photographed and Instagrammed piece of décor in this trendy, casual dining spot in Webster Groves.
Take note of the topiaries – shaped into hearts. Look closely at the flooring where child-like drawings of hearts have been stamped into the stained concrete. A small neon heart glows above the bar and, if the entrée permits, it will arrive at your table shaped like a heart.
To assume that Olive + Oak has set out to become a romantic dining destination would be a mistake. Sure, it’s very popular for an intimate dinner out, but it’s equally comfortable for families.
The purpose of all the hearts is to bring attention to congenital heart disease in children. Olive + Oak owners Mark Hinkle and Greg Ortyl with their wives Jennifer and Becky, both lost infant sons to congenital heart disease. The little boys’ were named Oliver and Oakes. The parents met in a support group.
So, dab the tears from your eyes and then get your calendar out to find a day for reservations. Look weeks ahead for Friday and Saturday nights, because this has become one of the most popular restaurants in St. Louis because of the food, the decor, and all of the love.