Monday, April 14, 2008

Just Opened: Fig & Olive Midtown

After a weekend away on a business trip and dinner last night at Ghenet, where we ate every last morsel, I had nothing to eat for lunch yesterday. Last week I read about Fig & Olive's soon to open midtown branch on Eater and Midtown Lunch and I figured if any time would be a good one to check it out, it would be now...

When I arrived at Fig & Olive at lunchtime they were up and running. Several of the seats at the counter were occupied as well as a number of tables that were in view. The space was bright, streamlined and inviting. They didn't print up enough of their takeout menus for me to take one home, but after quickly glancing at their house copy of the takeaway menu, I selected the Roasted Vegetable Panini on Tomato Bread (which at $6.50 was one of the cheapest things on the lunch menu, the other paninis with meat and cheese were $8.50 and I think I remember the salads being over $10). While the friendly gentlemen behind the counter were toasting up my sandwich I snapped some pics and became entranced with the Apple Tarts. After staring into their appley goodness, my resistance was down. I had to have one.

Back at my office, I opened up my panini box and discovered that they added in a couple roasted potato wedges, and placed the sandwich on a bed of arugula. If I liked the taste of arugula, I would have been in heaven. Alas, I'm not an arugula kind of gal, but it was a nice gesture.


The sandwich had an assortment of grilled vegetables: portobello mushrooms, zucchini, asparagus, and eggplant and it was topped with olive tapenade, shaved Parmesan-Reggiano, cherry tomatoes, and a few sprigs of arugula. Normally I don't go for sundried tomato bread, usually it's a little sweet and cloying--but this one was actually spicy. It had a nice bite and a peppery finish and was an excellent contrast to the roasted veggies. If I had one complaint, it would be that at times the eggplant was a bit overpowering in the sandwich. Perhaps if the eggplant slices were thinner (they were the thickest sliced vegetable), that would have helped with the balance. For a fairly small sandwich I was decently satisfied (the extra potato wedges helped), I decided to save my apple tart to share with Lawman after dinner but I wish I had gotten a little something more that I could have eaten at lunchtime.

Late last night we dug into the apple tart which was kind of a hybrid between an American Apple Tart and a Tartatin. The crust was flakey like a tart but the presentation and the light charring around the edges was more tartatin. Lightly sweeten and butterlicous, I would definitely go for one of these again.

Overall I was pleased with my lunch from Fig & Olive. I'm trying to cut back a bit on my lunchtime spending, so I doubt it will become my go-to place, but if I'm looking to treat myself, I'll consider a return visit. Their main dining room menu looked really good and it's a nice atmosphere. I would be willing to give them a try for a business lunch with colleagues or clients.

For more pics, check out our flickr.

Fig & Olive
10 East 52nd Street
New York, NY 10022
212-319-2002

1 comment:

Sarah said...

That food looks absolutely delicious. For me, since I love the taste of fancy food, without the extravagant prices, I usually buy fancy ingredients and make my own meals.
One of my favorite places to buy ingredients from is Holy Food Imports since they import their products from Israel, so they have an exotic taste.