Fig & Olive (Newport Beach, CA)

Fig & Olive (Newport Beach, CA) – No lie, I felt like I was on an episode of The O.C. the weekend I was in Newport. It just feels so beachy and bougie. Unfortunately did not run into Ryan Atwood or Seth Cohen, but I had other things to do. I was in town for my cousin’s wedding reception (and this is literally from almost a year ago… I’ve just been extremely behind on life.) Traditionally in Muslim weddings, the bride has all of her functions (i.e. the actual wedding), and then there is a wedding function/reception from the groom’s side after they have been married in the religious way (aka Nikkah, or marriage contract).

So, we had gone through all of the other wedding events over the summer and into September, and this was the final event in November! I know, Pakistani weddings are exhausting. Who you telling?

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Fig & Olive is a restaurant that celebrates not only French Provencal cosine, but Mediterranean cuisine as a whole. They have several locations in big cities (D.C, New York, etc.), and they use high quality ingredients to celebrate the flavors of this region. It can also be used as an event space, and as such, it was used for the wedding reception. My cousin’s husband is Korean, so prior to lunch, they performed the Pyebaek ceremony, which is a Korean wedding custom. The couple sits with older family members (parents, etc.) and they exchange goods like food and words of wisdom. It was really cool that they included my parents in it too! You can read a better explanation on Wikipedia if you’re interested. I would post pictures about it, but I don’t think my family wants to be posted so publicly lol.

After witnessing the ceremony (which was really cool to experience!), we eventually sat down to our meal. I loved the simple but elegant decor of the space and the table settings! My cousin loves rose gold like me, so I was so here for this cutlery. My sister created the menu designs, which worked really well with the rest of the table settings.

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Each table was served with really fluffy bread and rich olive oil. I could totally just live off of that honestly. There were also a few fun drinks served with our meal. I ordered a Berry Spritzer, which has raspberries and mint – two of my favorite flavors! It helps when its your family’s event and we all like similar things.

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There were three options for appetizers. I chose the Carrot & Ginger Soup, which contained turmeric, oranges, and olive oil croutons. The way Fig & Olive serves it is so fancy. You get the bowl with the carrots and croutons, and then a waiter comes by with the liquid and pours it into your bowl. It’s such a fancy way of serving soup! You can see it in the quick clip below. This was also very rich and flavorful. It was spicy, sweet, and tangy all at once – a great balance.

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My sister ordered the Fig & Olive Salad, which had figs, apples, manchego cheese, dolce Gorgonzola, tomatoes, walnuts, and olives. I tried a small bite of it, and really enjoyed the manchego with all of the other ingredients. This was also another great, light option before our entrees. The third appetizer were Mushroom Croquettes, which I didn’t get a photo of, but they were served with truffle mayonnaise and Parmesan.

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There were three options for main courses. One was a Meditteranean Branzino, glazed with figs and an 18 year old balsamic vinegar, served with snow peas, figs, and mashed potatoes. I’m pretty sure branzinos are the entire fish, so I passed on that, because that is way too much for me! I ordered the Provence Roasted Chicken, which was seasoned with herbs de Provence and served with fingerling potatoes and sauteed mushrooms.

I didn’t realize that I would literally be getting the whole chicken though, because this is way too much for one person to eat! The parts that I did eat were delicious though, because the herbs gave so much flavor to the chicken. The sauce that came with it was also very essential in providing a tone of flavor and prevented you from eating dry food lol.

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The third option for the main course was a Filet Mignon, which was 8 ounces and served with haricot verts, mashed potatoes, and drizzled with oilve oil and Bearnaise sauce. I actually would have ordered this, but I’m wary about steak since the transplant – a lot of restaurants still don’t cook it all the way through. I would, of course, rather not also, but do it for food safety. Anyway, my dad ordered this and I took some of his mashed potatoes lol, which were so creamy and fluffy!

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And finally, we move onto dessert. There was a dessert bar ready to go with mini pies from SImple Things. My cousin introduced all of us to Simple Things several years ago, and she has since brought them every year for Thanksgiving! Each flavor they make is so delicious – I eat so much pie now on Thanksgiving. Mini portions make you feel like you’re not eating that much at all!

 

Fig & Olive also created two desserts as well. They had a Caramelized Apple Tart, which was a crispy puff pastry with caramlized apples and served with vanilla ice cream. I liked the tart because it wasn’t too heavy and flaky, but I never got the ice cream! I actually didn’t even know ice cream was served with it until I sat down to make this post lol.

The other dessert was a Chocolate Pot de Creme, which were crunchy praline financiers with a dollop of vanilla cream. These were so rich and chocolatey and I loved the crunchy aspect of it.

And then starting from the top left and going clockwise: Salted Caramel, Key Lime, Banana Cream, and Chipotle Pumpkin. Salted Caramel and Banana Cream went very quickly, and we had a lot of the Chipotle ones left. I guess most people enjoy traditional flavors, but I love to venture out and try different combinations. I’ve had the pumpkin ones before, and I love the spicy kick you get with ever sweet mouthful of pumpkin pie!

Overall, this was a great dining experience and we had a great time celebrating my cousin’s wedding! I would be so down to try the restaurant again, because everything was made so well.

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