The Meatpacking District may be best known for its night life, but that culture totally spills into their restaurants. There are doormen, lines, people dressed to the nines and menu prices that lets you know you’re paying probably as much to eat as you are to be seen eating there. Needless to say, God forbid you lose your reservation because now you’re all dressed up and stuck with a minimum two-hour wait at all the restaurants in the vicinity. That’s kind of what happened to us — only our saving grace was Fig & Olive.
After losing our 8pm reservation at Ajna Bar (formerly Buddha Bar…I had no idea they had changed their name either), we were stuck with waiting til midnight for the next slot. Across the street at STK, same story. After wandering a bit, we found Fig & Olive. The maître d’ was so nice and accommodating even though the five of us had just shown up without a reservation on a Saturday night. He said we could wait 15 minutes for an “unorthodox” table inside or a table outside. We opted to sit outside since it was a nice night. While we were waiting, the manager offered us drinks on the house. The service for the rest of the night fit the same standard — it was totally refreshing.
The food was even better. They started us off with bread and three different olive oils (Greek, Australian, and Tunisian — I didn’t take a picture because I didn’t realize they were all different at the time!). We split six crostinis first: (2) mushroom, artichoke, and truffled oil; crab and lemon cilantro mayo; (2) manchego, fig spread, and almond; and bell pepper, goat cheese, caper and olive. They were all excellent (my favorite, was the fig spread, and the goat cheese ones!).
The salad was delicious — if you’re not into strong cheese like gorgonzola, you might not be into the Fig & Olive salad we had. But I don’t discriminate when it comes to cheeses — I love them all.
Fig & Olive Salad – fig, olive, tomato, manchego, gorgonzola dolce, goat cheese
walnut, chive, scallion, green apple, 18 year fig & balsamic dressing – Arbequina Olive Oil
Penne Mediterraneo – Shrimp, tomato, garlic, cilantro, scallion – Spicy Sundried Tomato Olive Oil
Penne funghi tartufo – cremini mushroom, parmesan, black truffle paste, fresh parsley & scallion – Truffle Olive Oil
The pastas were insanely delicious and fresh. The waiter said they don’t use anything creamy or fried so the food is on the healthy side too. The shrimp dish was more unusual, but it was my favorite for sure. And I was in the company of more mushroom fans, so we ordered a side of sauteed cremini mushrooms.
The meal, service and ambiance were all fantastic. The portions are great to split and the bill was surprisingly not even that crazy ($80 covered us all and we were stuffed). They have a few locations in the city, but if you’re ever have trouble finding a place to eat at Meatpacking, try this place first.
Fig & Olive
420 West 13th Street
btw Ninth Ave.& Washington St.
New York, NY 10014