|Fig & Olive|
Menu: View the Menu
Curiosity brought me through the doors of the recently opened Fig & Olive, which has opened just a few blocks up from Bloomingdale’s. I promise you it wasn’t the name; since I’m rather so-so about figs, and I don’t like olives (except in olive oil). But it only took one look at the gorgeous-looking offerings in the store’s to-go case (including pastries and sandwiches) and the beautiful wicker chairs and aluminum tables for seating to make me decide to stay and eat. The result was one of the most delightful lunches in recent memory.Review By: Brian Scott Lipton
First things first: not only is the food here decidedly European, so are the portions; if you’re really hungry, you’re probably better off at the Olive Garden rather than Fig & Olive. But if you value quality – not to mention very attentive service – over quality, then this is your spot. The all-day menu (which is supplemented by a handful of heartier entrees after 6:30 p.m.) is basically divided into four categories: tasting plates (which feature olives, cheese, meats and other ingredients), salads, tartines (small, open-faced sandwiches) and carpaccios. A lovely selection of wines is available to pair with these goodies, along with non-alcoholic beverages.
After some dithering, my friends and I settled on the chicken tartine and the truffled egg salad, and they turned out to be great choices. The tartine boasts two slices of the house’s fabulous homemade bread topped with delicious herb-specked chicken, fennel slices and tomato, all bathed in a slightly creamy cilantro-tinged vinaigrette; the tartines are served with a small salad and a few olives on the side. And the egg salad actually turned out to be a lovely tangle of arugula, raddichio and parmesan topped with a poached egg, all dressed in an excellent truffle-oil vinaigrette. (And that great bread – a fougasse – is served on the side!)
Desserts, all of which are also made on the premises, continued the winning streak: a mini-orange cake lived up to its billing – it could be eaten in three or four bites – but it was divinely moist and citrusy, while the fig feuilette was generously studded with the signature fruit (along with a layer of apples) and a properly buttery pastry. And not only was the coffee delicious, it was served in little individual silver coffee pots. In a city where dining experiences can sometimes be the pits, Fig & Olive is anything but.
Neighborhood: East 60s
Chef: Pascal Lorange
Entree Price: $15-20
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