Each season, Fig & Olive features new menu items reflecting the abundance of the new bounty. The food has always been safe, staying within the confines of what Newport Beach will accept. For me, it is a tad boring and never has that “wow-factor”, but that’s changed with the launch of some fall menu items this week.
I was quite pleasantly surprised by the flavor profiles in the new dishes. As always, crostinis are a signature item at Fig & Olive and with the new season, there are new offerings. Crostini Trio ($12) started the meal:
Grilled Vegetable crostini was rather tasty. The vibrant use of colorful vegetables made this a feast for the eyes as well. The crostini is first smeared with ricotta and olive tapenade before it is topped with an assortment of grilled vegetables.
Heirloom Carrot crostini with charmoula and carrot tapenade was another delight. In fact, I loved the vegan and vegetarian offerings most the season. The carrot puree is delectably smooth and various forms of carrots provide nice textural balance to this item.
Pata Negra crostini is always a favorite (even though the other two options won hands down this time around) with the ever so delicious jamon Iberico as the centerpiece. The blend of tomato and peach adds both tartness and sweetness to each bite while parmesan and ricotta gives a salty rich finish to the crostini.
Each season, I find a favorite salad at Fig & Olive, usually having burrata as one of its components. The Heirloom Baby Beet & Burrata ($16) is the current winner. A generous serving of lusciously creamy burrata is surrounded by red, golden and candy stripe beets. A few slivers of mandarin oranges add some fresh citrus hints to the dish.
If you’re at Fig & Olive for lunch, I highly suggest indulging in the Maine Lobster Roll ($17 not available for dinner). Your sandwich will include grilled lobster tails enveloped between a thyme brioche bun. The accoutrements for the sandwich includes apple, celery root, harissa and a lot more. Each bite is heavenly because the plump chunks of lobster are abundant and each bite will leave you feeling more than satisfied.
If you’re looking for something light, definitely choose the Mediterranean Branzino ($29). The fish is moist and flaky with accompanying flavors including fig and 18-yr-old balsamic vinegar. The mashed potato is unique in that olive oil replaces butter and cream. An absolutely savory dish without the extra calories.
My past visits to Fig & Olive have always been filled with hits and misses. I’m happy to say this is one where every dish has exceeded its expectation and I look forward to returning again for the lobster roll.
Fig & Olive
151 Newport Center Drive
Newport Beach, CA 92660