In the culinary playground of Manhattan, it seems every restaurant I finally get to try is replaced by 10 more that must be added to my list. I finally made a reservation at one that I’ve been wanting to check out for a while thanks to the rave reviews from both the media and friends. So, on the last day of NYC Restaurant Week, Tom and I had a dinner date at Fig & Olive.
The Meatpacking location was, well, packed and we couldn’t get a reservation, so we ended up at the midtown restaurant near my office. While Restaurant Week isn’t always a great deal (it’s up to $38 per person now), for a classy establishment like this it was a slight discount from the otherwise pricey menu.
The restaurant was much bigger than I had originally thought from the outside, and we were taken straight upstairs to our table despite being very early for our reservation. The service overall ended up being subpar, but that’s mainly because we noticed how attentive the servers were to other tables with older – and presumably richer – clientele. I suppose that is one thing about New York I won’t get used to while in my 20’s.
Of course we started with cocktails – Tom went all James Bond and had a dirty martini and I opted for something a little different – a Cucumber Cosmo. After a hard day at the office, it was refreshing without being too strong or sweet. The bread at the table came with four types of olive oil – FOUR! I love quality olive oil – it’s a weird thing to obsess over – but those of you that are with me on this know there is nothing better than some high quality evoo with fresh bread.
From the Restaurant Week menu, Tom and I share two appetizers – Truffle Mushroom Croquette and Crab Cakes. Both were super tiny and super delicious. The crab cakes were some of the best we’ve ever had, and the croquettes were the epitome of why truffle is so wonderful a flavor.
For dinner, I had a Chicken Tajine decorated with all sorts of vegetables AND figs! I haven’t had figs in quite a while, and I’ve never had them cooked. It seems like the place really lives up to its name – the flavor combination was unexpected but unexpectedly good. My only criticism was I found a few small chicken bones which made me nervous …
Tom had paella which was some serious seafood. It was an ocean of sea creatures worthy of a Bourdain episode. It’s not my preferred meal but he loved it, so for seafood lovers it was a winner.
While I don’t usually indulge with dessert at restaurants, it’s part of the standard Restaurant Week menu and, given the small portions of such a fancy place, I was actually excited for the pot de creme and pistachio mascarpone crostini with cherries that arrived. These are the desserts worth ordering – not too big and just perfectly sweet to end the meal.
So, overall, if you have a few bucks to spare Fig & Olive is definitely a place to try. If your wallet and stomach are feeling empty, it may be best to save this one for another day.
Check out their menu here.