restaurants
Fig and Olive
10 East 52nd Street
212 319 2002

The really wonderful Fig & Olive menu is filled with the sort of delightful cheeses, olives, jamon and prosciutto, market vegetables marinated in olive oil, crostinis, and so forth that one might find lounging in the South of France. But it isn't just that. Your problem here when you see the menu will be that you won't know whether to order just a selection of crostini (goat cheese, bresaola & olive tapenade and Manchego cheese with fig spread and almonds are just two); or just an entrée (a papillote of sole with garden vegetables, thyme, fennel and Baussy olive oil or say the grilled rosemary lamb skewers with bell peppers, couscous with figs, Greek yoghurt, honey and Koroneiki olive oil); or a couple of salads (perhaps a salmon and shrimp salad marinated in citrus fruit and olive oil from Moulin Baussy?) Either way, you know it will be too much food, but you just want everything. It will be hard not to fill up on the olives and cured meats (Serrano ham, prosciutto, dry saucisson) but try as there's just so much to taste. The best part though about this bit of the Mediterranean in midtown by owner Laurent Halasz is that it's good for all kinds of diners with all sorts of budgets. Downstairs communal dining for 30, takeaway, zinc tables overlooking an open kitchen for 60, and a posher upstairs for 110; this spot suits a quick lunch or a romantic dinner.

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