Fig & Olive | Gold Coast/Mag Mile/Streeterville | Mediterranean | Restaurant

Fig & Olive

Hours: Lunch, dinner: seven days
Saturday & Sunday brunch
Open late: Thursday-Saturday till midnight, other nights till 11

Price: $$$$

Cavernous Mediterranean "kitchen and tasting bar" in the Gold Coast

Restaurant Details

With its abundance of pretty, refined, shimmering things—from the decor that could be straight out of a Restoration Hardware catalog to the ultrablonde clientele that looks to have stepped out of a salon to the backlit rows upon rows of $32-per-bottle extra virgin olive oil—Fig & Olive is the kind of place that puts the “gold” in Gold Coast. And that makes sense, this being the seventh Fig & Olive outpost in a string of glitzy locales, including Fifth Avenue and Melrose Place. More so than the fig, the olive reigns here; executive chef Pascal Lorange dismisses butter and cream, instead utilizing in his Mediterranean-inspired dishes many of the 30 or so varieties of olive oils available for sale. The menu goes so far as to list the particular oil employed in each dish—a gimmick, sure, but the marketing strategy no doubt appeals to the figure-watching, cash-dropping target demographic that packed the 270-seat restaurant at 9 PM on a Tuesday. Most entrees are priced upwards of those $32 bottles of EVOO, but there are surprising values. You can choose three of the 11 crostini options for $12 (or six for $24), and they are generously sized and heartily topped. The pile of crab that adorned one—garnished with heirloom tomatoes, avocado, and apple aioli—was far from skimpy, and a mound of burrata atop another was just as plentiful. Another starter of braised octopus sliced carpaccio-thin was a more delicate dish but no less thoughtful (and no more inventive). A bouillabaisse with scallop, lobster, chilean sea bass, and mussels—all swimming in a lobster bisque (question: how does one do a bisque without cream?)—fell a bit flat; the bisque overwhelmed the pristine but scant portion of seafood, and the dish would have benefitted from a thinner, spikier broth and an additional drizzle of the saffron-infused olive oil. On the other hand, the seared tuna was a huge, gorgeous hunk of meat served with beautiful little heirloom potatoes and a dollop of eggplant caviar. You can have better, more interesting meals in town at this price point, particularly right around the corner at Nico Osteria. But you could do worse.

Mara Shalhoup

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Price: $$$$

Payment Type: Visa, Mastercard, AmEx

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