fig & olive

i knew it was going to be an eventful evening when friend peter showed up to music history class in a tie and vest.
he, miss maria, miss christel, and i sat together in the corner,
 giddy with excitement,
and planning our attack via menu research on our blackberries
{forget learning about chansons. sorry, mr. verdrager}

...add our friend jia,
and peter got himself a date
with 3 1/2 asian ladies!

meatpacking disctrict
is in one of my favorite little areas of new york. 
with its cobblestone streets,
and close proximity to the river,
it almost is more like a seaside village than new york city.
and i've only ever stumbled upon on it while aimlessly wandering the island,
so until that evening, 
it was merely a magical tangent universe that had no real relation to the city.

f&o is total swank.
as in,
forget about good quality pictures because our dim mood lighting is more important,
let's put on some healz and grab some arm candy cause WE are gonna be SEEN. 

deciding what to order was more of a puzzle,
as it was our mission to order everything on the menu.
it went a little something like this:

peter: ok. i'm getting the veal and paella.
maria: good. i'm getting the fish soup and pork.
christel: BITCH i was gonna get the pork
peter: now, ladies, let's not cause a scene.
christel: fine. i'm getting the steak tartar.
me: i'm thinking of getting the chick--
me: beef. i meant i was getting the beef.

in the end it really didn't matter who ordered what because when the food was served,
a game of musical forks began.
you'd prepare a forkfull of the correct ratios,
and then pass it to someone across the table.
i mean talking about swapping spit.
eating your own dish was almost faux pas,
but i liked this style of eating!

i tried, for the first time,
salmon tartar
steak tartar
fish soup

and my favorites of the meal were,

the chicken which was herbed oh so verrry perfectly
my steak which i tried to order medium well but got death stares from peter and so i got it less well,
and it was tasty nonetheless and it had a full slab of butter on top of it and i almost keeled over and died 
the veal which was like butta. not butter, butta.

and the dessert...

...was a fabulous white chocolate mousse

and adorable dessert crostini with cherries.
they were so rich and the cookies so buttery,
so good,
and i was into the creativity of it all.

the meal was absolutely fabulous.
the food was so consistent and tasty,
and being with awesome friendsies made it one big party.

in the end,
it was almost ruined by a butt face mid life crises manager.
the details are unimportant.
what is important,
is that thanks to this,
maria, jia, christel, peter and i, shall be returning to fig & olive
 peter's date with 3 1/2 asians, round 2
courtesy of fig and olive

...stay tuned...



fig and olive has two locations, in addition to the one in the meatpacking district: lex between 62nd and 63rd, and 52nd between fifth and madison.

the breslin

since when did everybody in the world become vegetarians?
did i miss the memo that you're not supposed to eat dead anymore? 
why do i feel like i just denounced gay marriage when i take out my turkey sandwich for lunch?

raise your hand if you take bacon in your mac and cheese,
if you can't have pancakes without them being rolled around sausages,
and if you go to baseball games just for the hot dogs.
*raises hand*

i'm so happy to have found
to renew my faith in carnivores.

and to remind me that, no, meat eating is not dead.
{no pun intended....}


 unaware of what being attached to the ACE hotel really meant,
i expected white table cloths and cordial waiters in all black,
but was pleasantly shocked to find a quirky, two story, vintage-y establishment
run by kool kids in tight t-shirts and jeans.

the moments where i
[a] opened the menu, and
[b] dropped my jaw
were simultaneous.

"i know, it's like porn!" said my new best friend, the waitress.

the amuse bouche was caramel corn.
not like those balls of cardboard you got on halloween.
this was freshly popped,
with homemade caramel,
and roasted nuts.
...light, crunchy, melt-in-your-mouth heaven.
cracker jacks on crack, if you will.

but,  nothing could prepare me for what was about to happen next...

the appetizer.
{i'm hoping that adding a period after the word makes it sound all a bit more grand and intimidating}

with lentils and a terragon and shallot dressing

a house made pork sausage,
herbed uniquely and to PERFECTION...
 piping hot, 
 meaty goodness. 
you could linger on one bite forever.
this honestly has to be one of the best things i've ever eaten.
the main course
came close though...
house made sausage
with polenta and parmesan


with pork ragu and rosemary

{pictured is the former}

i almost bit the pops' head off when he tried ordering the halibut.
i told him if he didn't get the sausage, i'd disown him as a father 
{i had already decided on the taglietelle}
and, luckily, ms. waitress was on my side {YES!}
because the sausage was {and pops soon agreed}
ok the sausage itself was fine,
but a perfect forkfull of just the right proportions of it and it's friend, the polenta, was just 
deliciously comforting. 
the tanginess of the parmesan meshed so well with the sweet polenta. 
i needed one of those four foot long forks to keep reaching across the table to pops.

the taglietelle 
was very very good. 
i can't say much about it,
because by the time i had finished it
 {in all of two bites :-(...}
i had forgotten to think about it.

it was an almost offensively small portion.
that's ok
because it gave the pops and i reason to order the
thrice baked chips
served with cumin mayo and spicy pickles
that yelled from the menu,
"eeeeat me!!!"
they were quite tasty.
similar to pommes frites,
but a bit crunchier.

i tasted one of the pickles that came with it.
{i've never had a pickle}
it was fine.
sorta weird.
kinda pointless?
what's the point of a pickle?

whatever, it's time for
ciabatta donuts with navan and banana ice cream
{banana ice cream on the SIDE thank heavens... bananas give me the heeby geebies}


chocolate stout syllabub
 with bubbled caramel and crème fraiche 

donuts! can we talk about donuts?!
in 6th grade i once ate an ENTIRE box of krispy kremes in once sitting.
april, these ciabatta donuts are just genius!
they're chewy! sooo chewy! 
and not too sweet, so i could go on and on eating them.

is like a fancy word for mousse?
that, too was über tasty. 
the caramel was a bit salty,
and the crème fraiche light,
and the chocolate pearls on top hilarious and charming.

both of the desserts were way satisfying.


the whole meal was wayyy satisfying. 
i give it like seven thumbs up.
it was so creative. 
not in an out sort of way,
but in a.. this makes so much sense sort of way.

next time i have carnivorous friends visit from out of town,
i'm taking them here.

i mean,
those brits, they just know.



the breslin bar and dining room is on west 29th street, just east of broadway


may i please wake up in paris tomorrow morning?
i'd like to have a stroll to a little sidewalk cafe and have a morning sit with a croissant and a newspaper,
while i watch little parisian puppies take their owners for a walk.
after that, i would explore little streets, 
and little bakeries, 
and little perfumeries...
and in the evening, i'd go to the market, 
and sample every single kind of cheese until i find the perfect cheese for the perfect fondue.
i'd also buy a baguette,
and eat half of it on my way home.
the next day, 
i'd wake up,
and repeat.

ohh, paris, i can't wait to meet you.

but until i do, i have 
to hold me over.

last week,
after a hectic day of tours and classes,
i took myself on a little date.
i wandered down the east side to france,
or so that's how it felt.

i arrived at the bistro expecting another teensy, jam packed restaurant,
but was relieved to find enough space to do a cartwheel or five across the floor!
and they had booths!
i love booths. 
more than i should.
but it meant i was going to be able to relax.

and relax i did with the first course, which was...

chickpea soup
with thick cut bacon

it was exactly what i needed to warm me up after the cold trek there.
piping hot, 
but not creamy,
and just the right amount of smokey from the bacon.
not too salty,
but certainly tasty enough.
it was delicious,
in a, main course, you've got some competition sort of way.

the main course:
grilled english cheddar
with apples and bacon

it was a bit odd to me that at a restaurant with over a million zillion cheeses, a cheese counter, and a cheese cave, only had one restaurant week option that involved cheese. 
i had a bit of anxiety about seeing macaroni and cheese,
croque monsieurs,
and fondue
on the menu, and not ordering every single one of them.
but, alas, i trusted madame waitress when she highly recommended the grilled cheese.

and it was great!
the cheese was the star of the show,
as its tanginess stole all of the thunder from the bacon and apples,
but i was down with it. 
i asked for dijon just for kicks,
and to test the spiciness about it,
but really, the cheddar was tasty enough on its own.

was the aforementioned,
and illustrious,
crème brulee

i swear, it could have been a meal on its own.
it's deceiving because it looks rather small,
but once you take a bite,
you realize that it's probably more calories than your daily requirement for the next five days combined,
and then,
i'm all,
look at me, 
i have no self control,
 i'm going to eat the whole thing!
it's restaurant week, i'm allowed.

when i dug to the bottom,
i noticed little vanilla flecks. 
how very mysterious and sneaky of it.

i've never had a better crème brulee
{at least not since sister pleaded for a blow torch for her eighth birthday and got one}

i really really should have employed self control though,
not matter how good a meal is,
if i have to waddle around and change into stretchier pants afterwards,
it's just no fun!

i'll have to go back here because

1. they're serving a different fondue for every day in february


2. look at this menu
i basically could have written it.

it was a great little date, 
my date with myself.
i sprawled out in the booth,
there was no one there to judge me when i ate all of the bread but none of the crust,
and the french family that sat next to me helped me pretend that i was indeed in paris.

i can't wait to go back and bathe in their fondue!



artisanal is located on east 32nd between madison and park