Fig & Olive Lights Up Spring Menu with Zest

Every few months, restaurants with season-focused menus clamor to bring in the best of nature's wares and showcase the flavors that burst from produce at the height of their maturity. Fig & Olive seeks the same and with the onset of spring, they launched their matching menu March 14th of this year, featuring bright dishes that flaunt vegetables and fruits while remaining aligned with their French Riveria-inspired style. Focusing still on their use of olive oils but now with the addition of the season's bounty of early citrus and overall color, Fig & Olive has several new dishes showcased but has also brought back some favorites. I was invited one evening to take a look at some of the highlights.

There are touches here and there on the pre-existing menu that are accommodating of the spring season such as some favorites returning to their popular Crostini offering (3 for $12, 6 for $21) which gives diners a morsel of a variety of flavors of their choosing. We indulged ourselves in quite many topped toasts but I do have to point out that the spring-flavor lover would thoroughly enjoy the Pea (asparagus, ricotta, and lemon thyme), Goat Cheese (caramelized onion and chive), Manchego (fig and Marcona almond), and Prosciutto (ricotta, fig, olive, and walnut) options. In addition to these steadfast starters are the spring menu debuts.

Don't hesitate to order their Burrata & Asparagus ($16 - burrata, asparagus, snow pea, hazelnut, arugula, microbasil, and blood orange dressing) for its voluptuous and creamy mound of burrata that plays wonderfully together with the fresh greens and sweet citrus dressing. I loved their spring Sea Scallops ($19 - seared scallop seasoned with Breeze spice, carrot-orange puree, roasted orange segment, honey heirloom carrot, and charmoula) which managed to marry all of the flavors together in a manner that touched on every singing taste that could work with scallops. Other spring menu appetizers include the Provencal Carrot & Thyme Soup ($12 - heirloom baby carrots, celery, onion, garlic, and thyme with an olive oil crouton) and Crab Salad ($15 - jumbo lump crab, celery, celeriac, snow peas, green apples, lime, cilantro, scallion, horseradish, and pink pepper) which I did not personally try but sounded delightful.

In the realm of entrees, vegetables still reigned due to the season's focus. The Primavera Risotto ($24 - Arborio rice, asparagus, green peas, pea shoots, parmesan, garlic, and shallots) could tide over the person wanting some creaminess with plenty of greens while the meat lover could dive headfirst into the Filet Mignon ($43 - marinated with rosemary, thyme, garlic, barley risotto with hedgehog mushroom, manchego, and mascarpone cheese with olive oil béarnaise). Personally, I stuck with their seasonal version of their Chilean Sea Bass ($39 - in papillote with spring onion, fennel, fresh ginger, orange and grapefruit segments, anise, cherry tomato, chive, cilantro, and dill), primarily because I had only seen the fish cooked in indulgent ways at other restaurants, drowning in butter or other heavy accompaniments. This one, gently encased in its parchment paper to steam softly among its citrus and herbaceous companions, was pleasantly light and moist, complemented by the citrus segments that balanced out with anise-focused vegetables. We finished then with the Clementine Vacherin ($10 - blood orange coulis, clementine sorbet, white chocolate mousse, and meringue), a refreshingly bright and airy dessert that truly lit up with ripe citrus' signature sweetness.

Photography provided by Fig & Olive.