I went to the most delicious restaurant last night with my friend Meir. We went to celebrate my late birthday together, and it was a blast. We went to “Fig & Olive” on 52nd street between Madison Ave and 5th. It was delicious… to the max.
For starters, the gave us these little cubes of bread with 3 choices of olive oils (two from Australia and one from California. Don’t ask me about olive oil, I’d assume it’s something like wine. Where the olive is grown… it must have some say on how great the oil will taste?)
Google answers my question…
Take a look at this excerpt for those who are wondering, ‘what the heck makes good olive oil?’
A DEFINITION: “Extra Virgin” is any olive oil that is less than 1% acidity, produced by the first pressing of the olive fruit. Most olive oils today are extra virgin in name only, meeting only the minimum requirement. Extra virgin is a chemical requirement that does not indicate either quality or taste.
QUALITY: With an impressively low acidity level of 0.225%, Lucini has a level of quality that can only be achieved one way — through hand harvesting and pressing within 24 hours. The premium flavor reflects the expert touch of our master cultivator: knowing when to harvest, avoiding bruising, and handling the fruit with the utmost care.
Several categories are crucial to judging the excellence of an extra virgin olive oil: aroma, taste, color, body and pepperiness. Any one of these can affect the quality of the oil. Below we have explained the most important parameters experts look at when judging extra virgin olive oil. AROMA: Is it natural, “green?” Aroma should never be processed and harsh. Regular extra virgin olive oil is often processed and high pressure filtered. This becomes apparent in the oil’s smell — oily, processed, and manufactured — in other words, unpleasant. But Lucini Premium Select has a fresh and natural aroma, reminiscent of the lush green hills and fertile soil where its olives are grown
TASTE: Is it natural, alive? Is there a peppery finish? Taste should never be fatty, oily, stale or lingering. Fresh, quality, olives produce a “green” taste: almond-like, with a momentary, distinct peppery finish. A quality extra virgin olive oil will reflect this balanced taste. Compared to bland, regular extra virgin olive oil, Lucini’s authentic flavor confirms that nothing is added, nothing is taken away.
CONSISTENCY: Is there a defined body? Consistency shouldn’t be weak or runny. Extra virgin olive oil should be defined, not thin or runny. Lucini has a defined body and firmness. This is a result of Lucini’s method of gently extracting the oil from the fruit. Unlike regular extra virgin olive oil that separates, Lucini binds with ingredients, absorbing and enhancing the natural flavors present in your cooking. A firm, defined body lets you know that no heat or bacteria were used during the extraction process.
COLOR: Is it richly colored? Yellow versus green. True experts can gain insight into the quality of an extra virgin olive oil from its appearance. They can tell when the fruit was harvested, and the type and condition of olives used. But anyone can determine whether an extra virgin olive oil is of good quality by examining its color. When held up to a light, a good extra virgin olive oil will appear to have green undertones. Fruit that is overripe when harvested will appear yellow, this indicates oxidization. The rich, verdant green color of Lucini oil is a direct reflection of the quality olives grown in our highland estates. Only by hand-harvesting the olive fruit at the time of its peak flavor can this color be achieved.
Anyway, that was just the table pleaser before we ordered. We both ordered from the pre-fixe menu. For the appetizer, I started with the “Chicken Samosa”. It was SO good. Think of it like this, a chicken burrito but 10,000x BETTER. The crust was crispy and crunchy, and the inside was soft, tender, and the touch of guacamole- just completely made my night.
For our main course, we ordered the Shrimp & Scallop Paella (grilled shrimp and scallops marinated with pimenton served on saffron rice, eggplant tapenade, bell pepper tomato, garlic-oregano olive oil) and the Grilled Lamb Skewers & Couscous (grilled lamb on rosemary skewers, bell pepper, greek yogurt, honey couscous with fig , red onion, scallion, tomato-koroneiki olive oil). The Paella was pretty good, a little bland though, but the scallops were burnt to perfection. The BEST part of this entire meal was the Lamb Skewers- which were cooked at medium, and they were juicy, tender, delicious in all ways. A little part of me was sad when I chewed my last piece. That’s how amazing it was!
For desert, we ordered the “Chocolate Pot De Crème” (which is crunchy praline financiers & vanilla cream). Basically it was really rich chocolate pudding with a vanilla cream held at the top, and a hazelnut wafer on the side. It was so good, but the pudding got a little too much after the vanilla parts ran out. You’d probably need a large glass of milk to topple it.
Overall this restaurant was really great, I’d definitely go back for round 2. I highly recommend the pre-fix menu, since you get so much variety with a good price. The service was commendable. Waitress was super nice. It’s not everyday you can boast about a place with good service.