I love falling into the proverbial rabbit hole and getting lost in its allure. What I thought was just going to be a leisurely lunch with a friend at a trendy cafe in Scarsdale, NY, actually turned out to be culinary nirvana. The moment I stepped into FIG & OLIVE’s Mediterranean oasis of warm, terra cotta-colored ceilings, natural limestone and white stucco walls, and potted fresh rosemary plants and olive trees, I was transported.
A long, white marble communal table and tasting bar stretches across the room, lit by bright pendant lights with an impressive visual backdrop featuring a floor to ceiling display of wine and olive oil bottles galore.
An open exhibition kitchen is illuminated by shelves of glowing olive oil bottles.
The main dining room is elegant with its clean and simple decor of hand-woven loom sofas and chairs, hanging basket lamps, and walls adorned with olive branches crafted in black wrought iron and lit with votive candles.
The spacious, light-filled, 4,000 square foot space opens up to an outdoor sidewalk café where my friend Debbie and I dined on what was the most perfectly warm sunny day.
FIG & OLIVE’s founder, Laurent Halasz, grew up in Mougins, in the South of France. With his mother, Francine, they created their signature style cuisine inspired by this region. Mougins is also the birthplace of the “Cuisine of The Sun” and the famous restaurant, Le Moulin de Mougins. Each year, Mougins hosts a glorious gastronomic event, “Les Étoiles de Mougins,” an international gathering of the world’s leading chefs. FIG & OLIVE, and its chefs, have had the privilege of participating in this event.
FIG & OLIVE’s dishes embody Executive Chef, Pascal Lorange’s passion for the best olive oils and cuisine from the Mediterranean region. And so our lunch began with a taste of three distinct extra virgin olive oils served with the restaurant’s freshly baked Rosemary Olive Oil Fougasse Bread.
Popular favorites are the tasting dishes and shareable small plates such as the Zucchini Carpaccio…
Along with the Fig Gorgonzola Tartlet alongside an assortment of Crostinis, Crudos, Cicchetti & Fritti, imported charcuterie…
The menus at FIG & OLIVE are created around carefully selected farmers and ingredients for their genuine taste and seasonality with local farm sources listed right atop the menu. Here’s a sampling which may feature slight variations depending upon location:
The exceptional wine list includes over 30 varietals from the South of France, Italy, and Spain that are offered by the glass, along with full bottles and champagne. I opted instead for the refreshing Raspberry 10 Cane Mojito!
After spending the afternoon basking in this blissful ambiance of delectable delights and melodic music with impeccable service from our formidable waiter, Andreas, I was not walking out that door without taking a little slice of this heaven with me!
In addition to the assortment of exclusive olive oils available for purchase, I couldn’t resist the aroma of the signature FIG & OLIVE No. 1 Mandarin Scented Soy Candle and the Music Collection CD of seductive grooves from the French Riviera which I immediately enjoyed during my long drive back to New Jersey. Excellent, soothing and energizing tracks I’ve never heard before! Here’s the direct link to purchase them as a set:
IndieKid’s Take Me Away and Satin Jacket’s You Make Me Feel Good were so apropos!
If you live near any of FIG & OLIVE’s seven locations: New York City (Meatpacking, Fifth Avenue, Lexington Avenue), Westchester, NY (Scarsdale), Los Angeles (Melrose Place in West Hollywood, Newport Beach), or in Chicago, you’re in for a treat!
If not, you can still enjoy FIG & OLIVE’s:
Signature, Infused & Estate Olive Oils
Specialty Vinegars and Spice Collection
Sweet Spreads, Condiments, Olives & Tapenades
Scented Soaps, Perfume & Body Lotion
Cookbook, Aprons, Breadboard and Rattan Provencal Tote
P.S. I adore figs and olives! How about you?