Lucky for me, restaurant week was in full swing during my summer trip to New York. There are HUNDREDS of participating restaurants and bars all throughout Manhattan and a handful in Brooklyn and Queens. During NYC Restaurant Week you can choose between a $25 lunch or a $38 dinner, both options are three courses, at some of the best spots in the city. Participating restaurants weren’t made available until about a week prior to the first day of restaurant week. Most of them have a special menu for restaurant week. I really wish the restaurant week website were better for choosing an eatery based on your location and/or the type of cuisine that you’re looking for. Not being a native New Yorker, it was very overwhelming to try and find a place close to where I was. I had heard of many of the high-end participating restaurants, like Cipriani and Nobu, but I was very underwhelmed when I took a peek at their restaurant week menus. I saw “Chef’s Special” listed several times for many popular restaurants. I got the Yelp app upon arriving to NYC because the reviews are mostly from New Yorkers’ perspectives, as I had heard many of them use the app. This is how I found Fig & Olive. They have three locations in Manhattan and a few in different states as well. I chose to dine at the Fig & Olive downtown location in the Meatpacking District during restaurant week because their menu had a lot of variety and offered several choices for each of the courses.
The fully-stocked wine bar at the Fig & Olive downtown location in New York City.
I chose the Truffle Mushroom Croquette for my appetizer. It is made with cremini mushrooms, parmesan, béchamel, and served with truffle olive oil aioli. This was definitely my favorite course. It’s literally some of my favorite ingredients – mushrooms and cheese – in little fried balls of perfection. Oh and then you have the aioli to swipe it through… Heaven.
My mom chose the Salmon Crudo for her appetizer, which is topped with orange, grapefruit, dill, lemon, scallion, and Arbequina olive oil. This was delicious as well. I’ve never been much of a seafood eater, though I have started eating salmon in my sushi over the last year. I love the taste both smoked and raw, but the texture is too much for me when it is cooked. I thought the orange, grapefruit, and lemon brought out the flavor of the salmon well.
My main course dish was the summer vegetable fettuccine with Ayala goat cheese mousse, fresh tomato, baby kale, pesto, snow pea, grilled asparagus, and Arbequina olive oil. Instead of a traditional alfredo sauce, the fettuccine was tossed with the olive oil. It was a perfect summer pasta dish – light and fresh.
For the final course, we had the Dessert “Crostini” and the Panna Cotta A L’Orange. The crostini was a square shortbread cookie with marscapone topped with fresh strawberries and drizzled with balsamic. The cookie was soft and was a perfect base for the rest of the ingredients. The latter was similar to a parfait – with orange panna cotta as the base, strawberry and basil jam as the second layer, and topped with cookie crumbles. The “parfait” was accompanied by an incredible orange sorbet. Both desserts were delicious and it was nice to have the opportunity to try both.
I was very impressed with Fig & Olive and definitely recommend it. It was one of the few restaurants that I looked at that had regular menu items as options for the restaurant week menu. I also appreciate that their menu is seasonal. While I was using the Fig & Olive website to write this post, I noticed that the meatpacking location has an affordable prix fixe $25 lunch menu during the week (Monday through Friday) that features almost all of the dishes mentioned in this post.