I’ve written time and time again about wonderful meals and dining experiences across New York. My meal at Fig & Olive, a place I frequent for dinner, consistently has good food, but the service Saturday night put such a severe damper on my meal that this Meatpacking staple might have just been crossed off my go-to list. As the meal progressed, the service continued to get worse and worse to the point where the food just stopped mattering anymore. Our entire conversation turned to the poor quality of our dining experience.
My littlest sister, Amanda, and I went on a quest for a good, light early dinner on Saturday night. We finally made our way to Meatpacking and up the steps into Fig & Olive. The hostess seated us at the bar tables. We kindly requested to have a normal table, since it was early and the place was relatively empty. She insisted they had a full house for the evening, so we no longer complained, being walk-ins.
We sat down and began to glance over the menu. It took at least 10 minutes for the waitress to come by, dropping the bread and olive oil in front of us, forgetting to read specials and quickly walking away. I have been to this restaurant at least one dozen times; they always describe the different aged oils and the premise of the restaurant. Immediately, we knew this meal was going to be filled with terrible service.
We finally ordered three crostini’s to start; Manchego and Fig, Blue Crab, and Mushrooms and Truffle-Artichokes. When they finally came out, they were placed in front of us, once again without explanation.
Amanda and I cut them in half and dug in. Her clear favorite was the manchego and fig version, which was mine as well. She wasn’t a big fan of the other two, while I thoroughly enjoyed the mushroom one as well, since I can never have enough truffles.
We then decided for our main course to share the Yellow Fin Tuna Carpaccio and Fig&Olive Salad.
Finally our food arrived and we requested plates to share. And waited, and requested again, and waited. Eventually, we just dug into the Carpaccio while we still waited for our plates to split the salad.
The dish was light and fresh. The tuna was evenly sliced and not overly dressed, allowing for the fresh fish to shine through. The crunchy additions of nuts on the side gave a nice saltiness to the dish, along with the arugula and tomatoes. It really worked, and the plate was empty pretty quickly.
Finally, we were given replacements to our bread plates as our “new, side plates for sharing.” We made due, and dug into the salad.
All of the components create the perfect salad; fresh figs, manchego, gorgonzola, tomatoes, nuts, olives, mesclun greens, and aged balsamic. It’s so delicious and eat bite bursts with flavor. Although we raced to pick out the best parts, the dish was overflowing with goodness that it was hard to get a bad bite.
Although the food was delicious, the service continued to be terrible. Our menus were not removed from our table after ordering; the waitress inattentive; and 1 hour and 15 minutes after starting the meal, the restaurant was still relatively empty. This called for action. Plus, half way through out meal a crying baby in a highchair was seated next to us. We were in rejects land.
After speaking with the not-so-accommodating manager, Brandon, we requested our bill. To be frankly honest we just wanted to leave this disaster of a dining experience. He apologized; and we requested our check. They did give us $10 off for our awful time, but that did not erase the memory of this meal.
When my middle sister was picking a place to take her friend for her birthday; it was clear Fig & Olive was nixed off my list. The food is good, but it’s nothing extraordinary in the grand scheme of Manhattan cuisine. And to be treated like that, makes the time less then enjoyable. Ultimately, my decision; you can find somewhere else just as good, with a better experience. Don’t waste your money.