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Since Oleana opened in 2001, its cuisine has become iconic. Describing it feels akin to explaining that the MFA’s “Dance at Bougival” is a romantic painting by Renoir, or that Kenmore Square’s Citgo sign is highly visible: If you’ve been, you already know. You’ve tasted dishes inspired by the traditional cooking of Turkey, the Middle East, and beyond, perfumed with za’atar and mint, Aleppo and Urfa peppers, cumin and cardamom. You’ve seen how these far-flung flavors meet the ingredients of New England on the plate.
Much of the produce comes from Siena Farms, operated by chef-owner Ana Sortun’s husband, Chris Kurth; Oleana has been local and seasonal since before local and seasonal was officially something to be. The food tastes like both home and away.