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Restaurants / Openings

Houston’s New Fig & Olive Restaurant Vows to Keep It Local

Much-Anticipated Olive Oil Temple Won’t Be Just Another National Chain

BY // 03.02.18

Thomas Laczynski may be bringing fresh tastes from the Mediterranean Coast as the new chef at Houston’s Fig & Olive, but he certainly isn’t coasting. Laczynski, formerly of True Food Kitchen in Austin, has developed a comprehensive menu highlighting flavors from the French Riviera for the much-anticipated new Galleria restaurant.

Houston’s Fig & Olive is set to open this month, joining the eight other Fig & Olive restaurants scattered around New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington, D.C. Lacynski is convinced Fig & Olive’s international flavors will fit right into the Houston dining scene.

“It’s most notable because it’s a reflection of the city itself,” Laczynski tells PaperCity. Houstonians are well versed in global cuisine, he adds.

Fig & Olive’s location in The Galleria’s fancy new wing in the former Saks Fifth Avenue space also fits the restaurant’s vibe. Laczynski argues that The Galleria has grown from a shopping destination to a “go-to hub for discerning diners.”

With Nobu, Blanco Tacos + Tequila and the no longer mysterious Spice Route (read PaperCity‘s exclusive sneak peek of the new high-end Indian restaurant here) joining Fig & Olive in the new Galleria VI, this is suddenly a mall with uber elevated food.

Fig & Olive’s “ethnic cuisine with a modern twist” uses flavors from Italy, Spain and France, as well as Houston itself. Laczynski pulled in tastes of Houston, with a 20-ounce grass-fed rib-eye steak and local tomatoes for a tomato watermelon salad and burrata.

Fresh pressed olive oil serves as the center point of the entire menu.

“We use it to confit, poach, emulsify, and as a substitute for cream and butter in many different recipes,” Laczynski says. The different grades of olive oil allow for different flavor infusions.

Diners can enjoy the olive oil in the dishes and even take some home. Dishes such as a whole Branzino with rosemary, Chateaubriand for Two and Spanish Paella figure to turn heads. Bright edible adornments such as kabocha squash with pickled mushrooms and pears and thin rounds of raw zucchini with fruity Picholine olive oil  add more color. Fig & Olive’s dishes are very Instagram friendly.

Fig & Olive’s Houston restaurant will be full of natural light, with a 160-seat dining room and 24-seat bar and lounge. The 40-seat outdoor terrace will add to the Mediterranean ambience — and boost Houston’s patio dining scene.

Fig & Olive takes its name from the symbols of peace and prosperity in Provence, France. Fig & Olive considers Provence a melting pot, a cultural and culinary crossroads. Houston is one too.

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