Thursday, July 29, 2010

Summer Restaurant Week: Fig & Olive

I had a bonus Restaurant Week lunch through a friend who needed a dining companion for Fig & Olive in the Meatpacking District.

The lunch began with bread and a spread of three olive oils of varying origins. If my memory serves correctly, we had oils from Australia, Chile and Algeria. Decent, but only slight variations.

Chicken Samosa: Free range chicken, cilantro, Greek yogurt, bell pepper, scallion, cumin, harissa oil
The crust was more like a phyllo dough, but I wasn't expect a traditional samosa here. It was crispy and filled with flavorful meat. 

Tuscan Caramelized Cod & Garden Vegetables: Marinated cod fish filet with raspberry balsamic vinegar, sesame seed, lemon, thyme, served with baby carrot, artichoke, green olive, fava bean, turnip, red pearl onion
This dish was confused about the season — served in a warm broth with root vegetables, it seemed meant for winter. It was rather bland and muddled and because the restaurant only offered forks and spoons, it made eating the rounds of carrots and potatoes difficult. The potato was also undercooked, given that it was hard to even poke it with a fork.

Shrimp & Scallop Paella 
Grilled shrimp & scallops marinated with pimenton served on saffron rice, eggplant tapenade, bell pepper, tomato, garlic.
This entree fared better. The scallops had a good sear on the surface and the rice was buttery and rich. The eggplant was an interesting addition to the mixture.

Dessert “Crostini”: Local-Farmed Strawberries, Mascarpone, 18 Year Aged Balsamic On Shortbread with Micro-Basil.
This was a light, successful take on strawberry shortcake. The balsamic was heavy on the strawberries, but it enhanced the flavor of the fruit while the mascarpone toned it down. And I love shortbread cookies.

Chocolate pudding with vanilla bean cream.
This was a good chocolate dessert that filled its duties. The crunchy bar that came with it had an unexpectedly wafer-like texture that I liked.

A common problem with Restaurant Week lunches is slow service — Fig & Olive fell into this trap. It started off well and the appetizers came quickly. After that, we waited and waited for the following dishes and found it quite difficult to get the attention of our server. It can be challenging to get through three courses in a short amount of time for a busy restaurant, but it's something people expect, especially when the choices for lunch are limited.

I am always up for trying a new spot for Restaurant Week, but this time, I'm not sure I can say I'd come back.

No comments:

Post a Comment