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Reservations Recommended

Restaurant Review ~ Fig & Olive / 934 Palmer Alley, NW (bet. H & I Sts.)

Memorable meals!

If you are a millennial with lots of bling, or better yet, a foodie who wants to be at the newest place in DC, you should head over to Fig & Olive — but make a reservation first!

One of the very newest places to open in DC’s CityCenter –- tucked into its interior courtyard, this hugely upscale, very pricey restaurant offers a surprising array of cocktails (at least one with olives and another with fig-infused gin) and a passionate display of varying olive oils. Not surprising, for a restaurant that stars olives in its name, but chances are that few chefs, and even fewer patrons, have any idea how diverse olive oil can be.

Well, you will find out with the bread squares that come with several different types of olive oil, ranging from dark to very light in color and flavor. And while olives and olive oils are active players on the menu, so too are figs. Several crostini (Italian for “little toast)
have figs as part of their makeup — such as the manchego, fig and marcona almond crostini — and these also appear in appetizers, salads, and some entrées. A fig and Gorgonzola cheese risotto? A fig and olive tagine, a dish that gets them all together?

Actually, the tagine may be the most intriguing and delicious dish on the menu: a melding of Mediterranean flavors and textures, it brings together all that seems hauntingly romantic about French Mediterranean cuisine. The dish contains chicken, figs, apricots, toasted almonds, couscous and even more: how can anything be more romantic?

Other considerations include, of course, an array of crostini — so many choices! — and appetizers, including the fig and Gorgonzola tartlet sparked with Arbequina olive oil. If you like gazpacho, their version contains both figs and goat cheese for a surprising change on the classic Spanish summer soup.

Entrées go forth with energy: from veal Milanese and rosemary lamb chops to Mediterranean Branzino and a quite costly Maine lobster bouillabaisse. Sides to all this include olive oil mashed potatoes, sautéed spinach with figs and garlic, and roasted beets with caramelized onions and almonds.

Desserts and dessert wines climax the meal, and you can’t go far wrong with caramelized cheesecake with olive oil crisp or the chocolate pots de crème with vanilla ice cream. Wines include ports, sherries, and a Madeira.

Fig & Olive also offers lunch and brunch menus, and if you like to hang out with friends in comfortable luxury sipping primo drinks, you are more than welcome. But if you plan to eat here, make a reservation or wait in line for who know how long!

Fig & Olive / Sun.-Thu. 11am-11pm, Fri. & Sat. to 1am. Dinner entrées, $19 to $39. 202-559-5004; http://tinyurl.com/nmvvz9b.

 

Alexandra Greeley is a food writer, editor, and restaurant reviewer. She has authored books on Asian and Mexican cuisines published by Simon & Schuster, Doubleday, and Macmillan. Other credits include restaurant reviews and food articles for national and regional publications, as well as former editor of the Vegetarian Times and former food editor/writer for the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong. Click here to visit her website.