Take me to a place that offers a fantastic assortment of fresh breads, olive oils, and seasonal vegetables and I’ll be a happy diner. When you add good friends to that mix, and truly amazing salad courses, and plant the restaurant in the middle of chic Manhattan, you’ve got the formula for a winning evening that begs to be repeated.
Fig and Olive on Fifth Avenue is a delight. Though the tiny entrance may be jammed with people waiting for tables, the spacious upstairs dining room is dimly lit and just the right amount of noisy. And the food . . . let me tell you about the food.
For starters, each table is presented with fresh baked breads and a selection of three distinctly different olive oils. We tasted oils from Spain (full-bodied and green), Italy (semplicemente perfetto), and California (light and grassy).
After choosing our wines, we embarked on the appetizer course. The Octopus a la Gallega was outstanding. Very thinly sliced octopus was perfectly prepared, surrounded by bell peppers, heirloom potatoes, black olive, basil, arugula and a dressing with a light touch. It was such an unusual presentation, and it was some of the tastiest octopus I’ve ever tried.
But I fell in love with the Heirloom Baby Beet and Burrata salad. First of all, it was stunning, with bright magenta and swirled stripe candy cane beets to add visual variety to the dish. Second, it was downright delicious – fresh and crisp and loaded with tangy flavor.
Fig and Olive is certainly worth a lingering visit, but be sure to book your table well in advance.
Fifth Avenue FIG & OLIVE
10 East 52nd Street, New York, NY 10022
Between 5th & Madison Ave.