The West Hollywood branch of Fig & Olive has been featured in Hangover III and the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. But don't hold that against its classiness quotient. The D.C. location, which opens in the swank CityCenterDC complex Friday, is also the kind of place where Claire Underwood might dine—if House of Cards were actually filmed in D.C.
The Mediterranean-inspired restaurant, with seven other locations across the country, was drawn to CityCenterDC in part by high-end neighbors like Hermès and Dior. "It's a good shopping destination, and more than 50 percent of our clientele are women," says marketing and PR director Ludo Barras. More specifically, the restaurant claims more than 65 percent of its patrons are women. "They love healthy food and the fact that you can stay thin," Barras says, explaining the restaurant uses only olive oil—no butter.
In fact, Fig & Olive has its own olive oil brand with 30 different varieties from regions spanning from California to Spain to Chile. They range from sweet and light to strong and peppery, and every dish on the menu lists exactly what kind of olive oil it uses. Every meal starts with a sampling of three rotating olive oils and rosemary fougasse bread. Bottles of the olive oil are also available to purchase for $16 or $22 for infusions with blood orange, basil, or white truffle.
The menu, which takes inspiration from Spain, Italy, and France, will be pretty much the same in D.C. as it is at the restaurant's other locations. Some of the staples include a zucchini carpaccio, fig and gorgonzola tartlet, rosemary lamb chops, and seafood paella. Three platters for two, including a whole branzino and bone-in ribeye, are deboned or sliced tableside.
Downstairs, there's a crostini station where you can watch 16 different types of crostini being made. The offerings include one crostini with crab, heirloom tomato, and zucchini purée and another with goat cheese, caramelized onion, and chive. There's also a raw bar.
The first floor looks kind of like a Crate & Barrel with gray couches and arm chairs overflowing with pillows surrounding a 25-seat U-shaped bar. The room opens up to 60-seat patio in CityCenterDC's courtyard where you can sip on a cucumber cosmo or the Summer in Provence cocktail with gin, rosemary-thyme syrup, muddled blackberries, and lime juice.
On Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, the first floor living room-like area will have a DJ playing downtempo, lounge-y music. The restaurant group has a music director from France, who's provided fashion show music for the likes of Christian Louboutin and Chloé. "He's helping every DJ that we hire in every market to make sure it's the Fig & Olive mood," Barras says.
The upstairs dining room is filled with terra cotta-colored furniture and lined with fresh rosemary all along the perimeter. "It's like having lunch in Cannes or Saint-Tropez," Barras says. Further back is a 70-seat private room completely decked in white. Just don't spill olive oil everywhere.
The restaurant will open for dinner on June 26, lunch on July 6, and brunch on July 11.
Take a look at the space and the dinner menu below.