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Manhattan

Fig and Olive on Lexington and 62nd (review)

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Fig and Olive on Lexington and 62nd (review)

Caitlin Wheeler | Jun 20, 2005 12:38 PM

Stopped by Fig and Olive on Lexingon and 62nd Friday night. I've been eyeing this place since before it opened - the neighborhood sorely needs a place to go and have a glass of wine and a little or a lot of food, and I really think this place fits a niche.

They focus on Mediterranean food -- it's an antipasti bar mainly, though they do have some main courses on the menu, that are served after 6:30 pm, and some sandwiches that are served before 6:30. The main dishes run between $15 and $20 and sound interesting, and they have some good looking salads as well.

They start by bringing some decent bread and an olive oil sampler -- a Provencal olive oil, a Tuscan olive oil, and a Spanish olive oil. Although the presentation of the different olive oils is a bit hokey, the oils do have a nicely contrasting flavor, and for someone (like my husband) who had never really noticed the differences in different olive oils before, it's a good introduction. The French one, for example, was very smooth and fruity, with a pronounced olive flavor, while the Italian and Spanish were much more peppery and strong.

We elected to order off the tasting menu -- they have a few cheeses, though disappointingly, you can't choose from a selection. You can either order the four cheese plate ($10.50) or a 6 cheese plate ($14.00). I thought the prices were reasonable -- the cheeses were a decent sized portion, and the selections were good, if not too exciting. The four cheese plate we had were a crottin, a gorgonzola, manchego and parmesan. The six cheese plat adds another goat and Taleggio. The cheeses came with three fig based condiments -- fresh figs, a fig and walnut "tapenade" and some of that dried fig cake. The condiments complimented the cheeses nicely, and the cheeses were all very good -- at the proper stage of ripeness, etc.

We also had a selection of crostini -- you can choose three crostini off a menu of about 8. The crostini we had -- eggplant caviar with roasted peppers, prosciutto with figs and olives, and shrimp with avocado, were all very flavorful, and came in decent sized portions. They offer a selection of vegetables -- the marinated artichoke was swimming in olive oil, but had great flavor, and the green salad they served on the side had a great balsamic vinaigrette. And finally they offer a plate of meats -- saucisson, brasaeola, jamon serrano and prosciutto, which you can order individually or mixed. We ordered the mixed, and the meats were very good, though the two hams were virtually indistinguishable.

They have a good wine list with some interesting european wines (I had a glass of Cahors) and reasonable prices, though the by the glass prices aren't a bargain.

Still, with a selection of crostini, a vegetable, a selection of 4 cheeses and the mixed meat plate, we had plenty of food -- it was all well-prepared and interesting, and with two glasses of wine, the bill was about $60.

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