Light green, deep gold, delicate amber—Fig & Olive’s 30-plus varieties of olive oil come in all shades and, of course, a wealth of different flavors to match. Selections from this culinary rainbow form the basis for every entrée prepared in Executive Chef Pascal Lorange’s kitchens and served in dining rooms that appear, like the oils, to glow with Mediterranean light. Today’s Reserve selection invites you to taste the difference artisanal olive oil can make with a four-course dinner for two or four. Dinner includes the following selections from the menu:
Dinner for two:
- Three crostini
- Two appetizers or salads
- Two entrees
- One dessert
- Two glasses of house wine or two signature cocktails<p>
Dinner for four:
- Six crostini
- Four appetizers or salads
- Four entrees
- Two desserts
- One select bottle of wine or four Fig & Olive signature cocktails<p>
Fig & Olive’s choices of oils are designed to “emphasize each flavor” in a dish, says marketing director Ludovic Barras, and to preserve the freshness of the locally sourced ingredients. For each entree, Executive Chef Lorange finds an appropriately fruity, peppery, or buttery olive oil to match. That means that the lamb chop’s infused oil is wholly different from that of the grilled branzino, an astringent Koroneiki variety that offsets a fig and aged-balsamic glaze.
Even the dessert menus draw on this Mediterranean nectar—they have to, since the kitchens use no butter or other heavy fats. The sweetness of crème-brûlée cheesecake, for instance, might contrast with aromatic flavors of olive-oil crisp, or strawberries acquire extra zing with gourmet balsamic vinegar. About the only place olive-oil doesn’t show up is the drinks list, which is dominated by fresh, fruity takes on sangria and classic cocktails.
The decorators, too, have worked hard to evoke the Mediterranean, and terra-cotta accents and communal tables fill the dining rooms. “There’s no pressure to feel like it’s going to be too formal,” Barras says of the versatile atmosphere; guests can choose more intimate private tables for special nights out. In a visit to the Westchester location, the New York Times praised the ambiance along with the food, calling it “thoughtful, tranquil, and lovely.”
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Fig & Olive
Growing up in the south of France, Laurent Halasz was nourished by some of the finest olive oils and cuisine from the Riviera and Mediterranean coastal regions. He created Fig & Olive with his mother, Francine, in order to bring those ingredients and flavors to New York and California. His culinary team has returned to his home village to participate in Les Étoiles de Mougins, an annual gastronomical summit of some of the world's best chefs. Spearheading Halasz's commitment to authenticity is Executive Chef Pascal Lorange, who has trained with three-star Michelin Chef Georges Blanc and, according to the Los Angeles Times, prepared meals for the likes of President Obama, singer Julio Iglesias, Oscar de la Renta, Princess Stephanie of Monaco, and the Clinton family.
Lorange prepares or finishes virtually all of his small plates, entrees, and desserts with olive oils that diners can sample at the tasting bar or take home to fragrantly lubricate squeaky doors. Emily DeNitto of the New York Times found that the rosemary-garlic olive oil "brought out the earthy taste of grilled lamb chops," and "paired winningly with chive gnocchi and roasted eggplant." Diners share conversation and wines from France, Italy, and Spain at the marble communal table, which often glistens with zucchini carpaccio and imported charcuterie, cheese, and olives.
In addition to the welcoming, jovial ambiance, the restaurant's design invokes the leisurely Mediterranean. Limestone-stucco walls, tall ceilings, and green rosemary and olive trees inspired New York magazine to liken the café to "a ray of Provençal sunshine."