Friday, July 31, 2015

Exploring the Mediterranean at another bargain lunch in Manhattan

A quartet of Truffle Mushroom Croquettes -- crispy outside, creamy inside -- was one of the starters on the $25 lunch menu at Fig & Olive in midtown Manhattan. The dish includes cremini mushrooms, parmesan and bechamel with a Truffle Olive Oil aioli.


I picked the Mediterranean menu at Fig & Olive for my second Summer Restaurant Week lunch in Manhattan.

The $25 prix-fixe lunch, plus tax and tip, is a bargain, and includes bread service with a trio of extra-virgin olive oils.

The server put down two Spanish olive oils and one from California, describing the last as "grassy and herbaceous."

Olive oils from Greece, Spain and other countries also are used in many dishes.

Restaurant Week lunches include an appetizer, main course and dessert, selected from a limited menu, and no substitutions are allowed, not even fruit in place of dessert.

I don't eat dessert, and prefer the prix-fixe lunches I've seen advertised in Montreal -- appetizer, main course and coffee or tea -- usually for $20 or $21.

The Midtown branch, one of three Fig & Olives in Manhattan, has a dining room and bar on the first level and another dining room upstairs, with a total of 180 seats.

I made a noon reservation for me and my son on Thursday, and when we left, the restaurant was nearly full.

Both the food and service were great, and I felt pleasantly full after only two of the three courses.

On Thursday, my appetizer was Cucumber & Pink Peppercorn, a refreshing Chilled Cucumber Soup with mint, lemon, orange and shallot that was poured at the table. The soup is made without milk or cream.

Bread service included three extra-virgin olive oils.

For a main course, my personal Paella del Mar included shrimp, mussels and calamari over creamy rice with a saffron aioli and Hojiblanca Olive Oil.

My son picked Grilled Lamb on rosemary skewers, with Couscous, Greek Yogurt and Honey, and Koroneiki Olive Oil ($5 extra). A grilled caramelized fig, which he gave to me, was wonderful.
My son's dessert, Orange Panna Cotta with cookie crumble. I took home a second dessert, Crostinis with strawberries and mascarpone.

The second-level dining room on East 52nd Street, near Fifth Avenue, above and below.

The first-floor dining room and bar.


Fig & Olive - Midtown, 10 E. 52nd St., near Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y.; 1-212-319-2002.

Summer Restaurant Week Web site:

By using a registered American Express card to pay, you can get a $5 statement credit for up to four lunches or dinners.

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