Photos By Franz Mahr, Words By Marissa Rubenstein
It’s like CityCenterDC heard everyone whispering behind its back about its “bourgeoisie ghost-town” vibe (Is that a thing? Is now!) because lately you can’t throw a designer handbag in the development without hitting a newly opened or soon to be opened restaurant/store/bakery. The one amazing thing about all these new openings? The folks at CityCenterDC clearly know what they’re doing because everything so far has been either delicious (DBGB, Dolcezza) or great retail (Kate Spade, Carolina Herrera), and Fig & Olive is no different.
From the moment you walk in you’re instantly transported to the coast of southern France, where owner and founder Laurent Halasz grew up visiting the daily markets for the freshest seasonal and local produce. Halasz’s upbringing played a big part in the creation of Fig & Olive’s menu, with its emphasis on fresh, local ingredients and plans to change everything from the flavors olive oil served at the beginning of the meal, to the entire menu, on a seasonal basis.
Fig & Olive is known for its amazing crostini selection and it definitely lives up to its reputation. Crunchy slices of bread are generously topped with all sorts of different ingredients from slices of creamy manchego, to smoked tomtato concasse and pata negra. And the FIGS! It seems obvious that a place called Fig & Olive would have fairly good figs, many of the dishes we sampled had some sort of fig accent and they were so good at one point my photographer exclaimed “god these figs are amazing” and they truly were. Try the Fig Jamon Goat Cheese crostini, thank me later. Other menu highlights include Octopus a la Gallega, braised and thinly sliced, I don’t even like octopus and thought this was outstanding, and a Mediterranean Branzino marinated in 18 year old balsamic vinegar.
With its airy atmosphere and upscale “lounge in St. Tropez” vibe, Fig & Olive is the perfect restaurant for a date night or when you really want to just escape to the south of France for a few hours.