It's Restaurant Week in New York (a misnomer since the thing lasts nearly three weeks!), and that means: restaurant reviews!!
First off, Fig & Olive Restaurant on Fifth.
The restaurant is surprisingly huge, with an entire second floor dedicated to diners, but was still hopping around lunchtime on a Thursday. Thankfully we had made reservations and were immediately whisked upstairs. The service felt a little forced, as the host downstairs alerted the hostess upstairs to our arrival, who introduced us to our server, who primarily took orders and checked in while another team of actual servers came by to serve our food. It seemed as if the logistics and effort were extremely difficult, while I suspect their actual intention was to appear like a well-oiled and effective machine...despite this, a nice lively atmosphere for a lunchtime meal.
Before we ordered we were given a three-plate olive oil tasting, which was quite good. All three oils (from Chile, Greece, and California) were very, very good.
Going with the RW Prix fixe menu I ordered the mushroom croquettes, the pesto spaghetti without shrimp, and the chocolate creme pot. My colleague ordered the gazpacho, pesto spaghetti with shrimp, and strawberry crisps.
The mushroom croquettes were absolutely delicious, fried and served with a creamy mushroom sauce, although I had enough after the first three (there were six).
The spaghetti was completely boring. A well-made pesto, varied slightly with the addition of other herbs to the basil, but ultimately not worth their regular lunchtime prices.
The dessert was mixed. My chocolate dessert was completely boring and could have been rivaled by a store-bought chocolate pudding, although it came with some hazelnut crisp-like thing that was absolutely delicious. I also had a good espresso with my dessert. The strawberry crisps, on the other hand, were outstanding. Fresh slices of strawberry served on a thin shortbread cracker with a drizzle of balsamic made this the highlight of the entire meal.
All in all the lively atmosphere made it worth going with friends and all the dishes were good and high-quality, if somewhat ordinary. Next time I will have to try the more unusual dishes to see if the restaurant really brings anything new to the table.