Ian Martorana

Fig & Olive

Fig & Olive

Fig & Olive was a unique dining experience: The food was outstanding, the cocktails solid, the service dynamite, and the decorum unique—the last of which might not jive with everyone's expectations. 

Fig & Olive is in Washington DC's City Center, and the first thing that is so striking about the restaurant—and the one aspect of the dining experience that could ruin this restaurant for some people—was the set-up itself. The layout is as similar to someone's house as it is a restaurant. For every table with standard chairs were love seats, couches, and more non-traditional seating options. I, for one, really enjoyed it. My guest and I sat side by side in two love seats, and it made for an enjoyable dining experience. That said, I can see how it wouldn't be for everyone.

Onto the food: We ordered the branzino for two with sides of mushrooms and brussel sprouts. The fish was delicate, roasted whole with herbs and lemon. The fish was prepared completely table side—head and tail cut off, fillets and bones removed, and portioned between the two plates. The presentation of the food only made the meal more special.


Branzino is always good, but the fish at Fig & Olive was nothing short of divine. The skin was crispy, and the meat itself was herbacious and acidic and delicate.

The dish was also served with a salsa, which was completely unnecessary—the fish needed no additions or alterations that would take away from its natural flavor. The sprouts were cooked nicely, and were served with diced hazelnuts; an interesting and enjoyable pairing. The mushrooms were the better of the two sides, cooked simply with garlic and parsley, allowing the mushrooms themselves to shine.

And though I usually don't, my guest and I ordered dessert; a tasting of four bite-sized desserts: Amarena Cherry Crostini, Chocolate Pot de Crème, Crunchy Praline & Chestnut Mousse. Don't end your meal before trying this dessert tasting.

All in all, Fig & Olive delivered on its promise of an upscale, elegant, and intimate dining experience. You can make a reservation here.