I’ve always been fond of hidden entrances. And while the door to Fig & Olive isn’t fully concealed, if you don’t know where you are going on Oak Street it’s easy to walk past — they aren’t depending upon tourist foot traffic. A popular spot amongst Gold Coast locals, the décor pays homage to its French, Italian and Spanish roots while emanating the style of the French Riviera. Once you walk through the doors and make your way up to the second floor of the Mediterranean eatery, you are greeted by a friendly host standing in a contemporary space with wooden tables, leather chairs, a long sleek bar and natural lighting where they have a strict no butter allowed policy. Everything here is prepared with extra virgin olive oil.
A Fig & Olive staple, the signature crostini showcases that a simple concept can be the most palatable. Executed flawlessly, each crostini contains three to four mouthwatering ingredients on top of toasted bread slices. I recommend enjoying each on the patio with a glass of rosé in hand. With so many mouthwatering options, it’s easy to make a meal out of them. And while you really can’t go wrong, be sure to try the PEA with asparagus, ricotta and lemon, the MANCHEGO with fig and Marcona almond, the BURRATA with tomato, pesto and balsamic and the PROSCIUTTO with ricotta, fig, olive and walnut. They are available in rounds of three or six.
If you’re not accustomed to eating zucchini, the ZUCCHINI CARPACCIO might seem a little underwhelming. Thinly sliced zucchini is served on a plate with pine nuts, Parmesan and a drizzle of lemon. It’s a light bite that is better suited as a side dish but regardless of its menu placement, is refreshing, bright and well seasoned.
The TRUFFLE RISOTTO is a scrumptious plate of creamy rice made with truffle oil, Cremini mushrooms and a healthy sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. Before it melts in your mouth it hits your taste buds with intoxicatingly rich flavors. Don’t plan on sharing.
A crowd-pleasing dish, the RIVIERA SALMON is served in a pea puree and seared in basil olive oil with asparagus on the side. It’s well rounded, fresh and is light enough to order after indulging in several pieces of crostini.
Chilean Sea Bass
The CHILEAN SEA BASS is heavier than the salmon, albeit outstanding. The buttery components of the savory fish complement the roasted sunchoke and romesco mascarpone sauce while the slight sweetness from the almond and hazelnut add to its rich decadence.
Carmelized Apple Tart
It’s hard to go wrong with a classic APPLE TART and Fig & Olive does not disappoint on its execution. The puff pastry is crisp and is the ideal vessel on which to bring the carmelized apples to your mouth. When you pair it with the vanilla ice cream it’s heaven.
Aesthetically speaking, the CLEMENTINE VACHERIN takes the cake. The sweetness from the white chocolate mousse and meringue cut through the slight bitterness from the blood orange coulis while the clementine sorbet brings a punch of acid. Ready your spoon, thank the French and dive right in.
104 East Oak Street, Chicago, IL 60611