By Melissa Limberg
On the heels of my post that basically demanded the reader to try every restaurant week place they could get their grubby little hands on, I have an account of my own! My first stop this year was Fig & Olive in the Meatpacking district. This place is perfectly placed in this area and is a very sexy atmosphere. Dress for dinner, friends.
Right at the very top of the menu you’ll read this short blurb, “Our menu is centered around local and imported ingredients to create refined and genuine flavors from the South of France, Italy, and Spain. Each dish is prepared with a selected extra virgin olive oil, served with freshly baked olive oil bread.” Using Google translate that roughly means, “If you weren’t excited about this review before, you should be now.”
Who goes to a bread and oil place on a low carb diet? I do. Me. That’s who. Basically, if I’m gonna do it… I’m gonna do it right. The first plate that was brought to our table was a selection of olive oil bread and three very different samplings of olive oil. This was the perfect “Welcome!” present, if you ask me. To showcase a few of the flavorful, interesting olive oils was really a treat.
I was pleased to see that in addition to the prix fixe, they also offered a small discount on a crostini selection. This place is known for their brilliant crostini; I love brilliance, and so it was done. My date and I ordered the selection of 6 crostini. The selection was chef’s choice, but as fate would have it that angel of a chef choice all the same that we would have! My crostini were dressed as follows:
-Mushroom, Artichoke, Scallion, Parmesan (Good.)
-Goat Cheese, Caramelized Onion, Chive (Expected this to be warm, it was cold. It was between ok and good.)
-Beet, Ricotta Thyme, Orange, Raspberry (This was served cold, I would not order this again… but beets are not my thing.)
-Manchego, Fig, Marcona Almond (“NOM NOM NOM! I’ll have 10 more please!” – my thought process while eating this one.)
-Coppa, Goat Cheese, Fig, Honey, Almond (I hate figs… and this was easily my favorite! Must get this one!)
-Prosciutto, Ricotta, Fig, Olive, Walnut (Another of my favorites! Really nice flavor.)
If you were to go I’d suggest you opt for the smaller selection of 3 crostini, and choose the last three. They are, by and far, the best! Also, they are big enough to share each one so they make the perfect small appetizer.
For the starter plates they offered two different soups, a beef carpaccio, salmon ceviche, and truffle croquettes (I know there must have been more options, but my memory is failing me at this time). My date took the truffle croquettes and I opted for the lighter salmon ceviche. Naturally, I wasn’t paying as close attention as I should have been because it turned out to be a salmon ceviche crostone… so basically, more bread for me! I liked it. I didn’t love it. You know what I did love? I LOVED those fantastic little truffle croquettes! Inside were cremini mushroom, parmesan, béchamel, and truffle oil aioli. Delectable, delightful, decadent. These are going to have to be on someone’s plate at your table if you go here, otherwise I cannot keep advising your culinary outings.
Among the main courses offered were the truffle risotto, filet mignon, seafood paella, and seabass. Obviously, I wanted the filet mignon. After talking to the waiter, I realized a more special dish to try from this particular restaurant would be the seafood paella so I went for it. My date had the truffle risotto. The truffle risotto was very straightforward, but extremely rich and satisfying. My seafood paella was a play on the regular menu paella as it didn’t come with the advertised sea scallops. It did have tiger shrimp, mussels, calamari, and octopus. Overall, a very nicely seasoned dish. If I were to go back, however, I may opt for a different dinner choice.
Dessert menu was two options: dessert crostini and bombass creamy chocolate pot. Our waiter recommended we just get one of each and share, so we did. Both were excellent, but to be honest I had had enough crostini at that point! The chocolate pot, I’m convinced was Jell-O chocolate pudding covered in thick, dreamy whipped cream. A+ for the chocolate pot!
Overall, our waiter was extremely knowledgeable about the menu items and spoke about them with a sense of passion and approval, I enjoyed that. The look and feel of the place was definitely Friday night in Meatpacking district. Fig & Olive is right next to Catch (if you can remember my first post here at Full Access NYC) so beautiful people were milling about all around. At the end of the day, it was a nice meal with excellent company. I recommend the scenery paired with a great restaurant week deal, but I’ll have to do some more menu tasting before it becomes one on my “must visit” list!