Gettin' Figgy With It: Fig + Olive 5th Ave

Mediterranean food is one of my all-time favorites. The cuisine just screams "fresh" "light" and "healthy" to me, while simultaneously being so so flavorful. It also screams "FETA" and "BAKLAVA" and "FRENCH FRIES IN MY GYRO PLZ." 

Recently, my family and I ate at Fig + Olive - a restaurant with various locations in NYC, Chicago and Washington D.C. A focus on simplicity is what I appreciate most about the Mediterranean cuisine. One of my favorite parts of a meal here is dipping some simple bread into different flavored olive oils. 

Fig and Olive

The two-storied restaurant was intimate but not cramped and we dove right in to my favorite part of the menu...CROSTINI. 

Is there anything more perfect than the concept of crostini? In Italian, it translates to LITTLE TOASTS. I'm sorry for the caps, I just get really excited about toast. The different flavor combinations you can create on top of a slice of toast are truly amazing - but your options are limited by the fact that you can only eat so many slices of toasts. 

That's why tiny-toasts aka: crostini are so damn brilliant. Thanks, Italians! 

Fig + Olive has an extensive crostini menu and my sister and I decided to go big or go home by ordering 6 of them. 

6 Crostini 

Crostini Fig & Olive

1. Pea, Asparagus, Ricotta Lemon Thyme

 This crostini was served slightly chilled and tasted so springy. It ended up being one of my favorites, which I didn't expect!

2. Manchego, Fig, Marcona Almond 

I don't know if I've ever knowingly enjoyed Manchego cheese, but this was definitely the highlight of this particular crostini. The cheese was strong, but it didn't overpower the sweet fig. Marcona almonds are one of my all-time favorite nuts. 

3. Prosciutto, Ricotta, Fig, Olive, Walnut 

This one got mixed reviews - for me, it had a little too much going on and nothing really stood out. 

4. Goat Cheese, Caramelized Onion, Chive 

Wow-eeee. This was definitely the most powerfully tasting crostini and each of the three ingredients were discernible.

5. Burrata, Tomato, Pesto, Balsamic

This mayyyy have been my favorite! The basil was so poppy and fresh but I could have used a tad more balsamic glaze. 

6. Mushroom, Artichoke, Truffle, Parmesan

I was expecting to hate this and was pleasantly surprised, and completely confused, when I liked it. Didn't just "like" it - I enjoyed it! I've never enjoyed truffle on anything to my knowledge. But maybe it was the fact that the Parmesan helped undercut the strong truffle taste? Or I liked it paired with mushrooms and artichoke? Either way - an enjoyable bite. 


Beef Tartare

Marinated hand cut grass fed filet mignon, caper, shallot parsley, dijon olive oil emulsion crackers

Along with the Crostini as appetizers we ordered the Beef Tartare. Yep, raw meat. I was a little hesitant to try this and ended up not loving it due to the texture and size of the "meat chunks." Sorry, that probably made you gag a little. The taste was alright, and I enjoyed the capers, but I couldn't have gone without this dish. 


My sister and I split an appetizer and an entree for dinner. First up was the 

Sea Scallops 

Seared scallop seasoned with Breeze spice, carrot-orange puree, roasted orange segment & honey heirloom carrot, charmoula

Scallops Fig & Olive

Full disclosure: I ordered this not knowing what Breeze spice or charmoula were. 

Turns out, Breeze spice is a combination of tea leaves, anise and lemon. And charmoula I should have recognized from the empanadas that we ordered at Borough in Minneapolis!  

As a recap from that post - chermoula/charmoula is a marinade used in Algerian, Libyan, Moroccan and Tunisian cooking. The main two ingredients are usually garlic and coriander with some varying mixture of herbs, oil, lemon juice, pickled lemons, cumin, salt, onion, chili peppers, black pepper and saffron. 

I may never figure out which spice cause me to not love this dish as we neared the end of it - but the scallops as always blew me away with their sweetness. This dish definitely had an Indian vibe to it.

Vegetable Linguine 

Ricotta & Ayala goat cheese, cherry heirloom tomato, baby spinach, pesto garlic, broccolini, zucchini spaghetti, grilled asparagus

Fig & Olive Pesto

Can we please take a moment to LOOK at the green-goodness of this dish? Looking back, I should have spritzed it with lemon to lighten it up a bit but overall, we were soo happy eating this pesto covered noodles. The addition of the zucchini spaghetti was FAB and I've never had creamier pesto in my life. 

This dish was just bursting with flavor and most importantly, bursting with veggies! 

Rosemary Lamb Chops 

Grilled, smoked a la minute with a bouquet of Herbs de Provence, goat cheese & chive gnocchi, braised eggplant with honey & thyme, rosemary garlic olive oil

Lamb Chop Fig & Olive

From the mouth of my mother, a lamb-lover, "This is the best lamb dish I've ever had." 

There you have it folks. The overall flavors were her favorite, though we agreed that the lamb I had a La Sirena Ristorante a few days earlier might have been cooked slightly better. 

Veal Milanese 

Breaded veal escalopine, roasted tomato sauteed broccolini with thyme and garlic, pesto linguine and tomato mascarpone sauce

Veal Fig & Olive

This was dad's pick. I was amazed at how thin the veal was and obsessed with the tomato mascarpone sauce (essentially a cheesy tomato sauce) 

Which crostini sounds like your jam? 
What's your favorite cuisine?