Fig & Olive Opens In O.C., December 20, 2013

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FIG & OLIVE extends an olive branch to Newport Beach, CA with the arrival of its flagship Orange County outpost at the premier Fashion Island shopping destination. The restaurant will begin taking reservations for dinner starting on December 6, 2013. The company’s second West Coast location joins existing FIG & OLIVE restaurants in Melrose Place/West Hollywood, New York City, and an upcoming Chicago outpost, opening summer 2014. Inspired by the coastal regions in the South of France, FIG & OLIVE Newport Beach aims to capture the essence and flavors of the coastal towns along the French Riviera, with a menu crafted by Executive Chef Pascal Lorange. The restaurant will introduce lunch and weekend brunch service in 2014.

Raised in the idyllic town of Mougins in the South of France, FIG & OLIVE Owner/Founder Laurent Halasz envisions a home along the California Riviera coastline to channel the aesthetic and sensibilities found along the French Riviera. “FIG & OLIVE Newport Beach is very reminiscent of the South of France where I grew up: located on a beautiful coast with olive trees all around and refined cuisine and décor,” says Halasz. “Our new restaurant aims to transport guests to the French Riviera and it is with great thanks to the shared vision of the Irvine Company that we are able to create this true French Riviera ‘oasis’ in the heart of Orange County.”

The multi-faceted design of the 12,000-square-foot, 330-seat dining destination features a variety of functional spaces with natural limestone and white stucco walls throughout and includes dining areas such as:

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  • Lounge Area with Bar and Crostini Station
  • Wine Room
  • White Room
  • Orchard Room
  • 2,646-square-foot Terrace Garden Lounge

Executive Chef & Culinary Program

Executive Chef Pascal Lorange creates a menu centered on carefully chosen farmers and hand-selected ingredients utilized for their genuine taste and seasonality. “At FIG & OLIVE, we highlight our menu’s core ingredient of olive oil, which we use in place of butter in our dishes—ranging from a sweet and delicate olive oil that pairs well with a Steamed Lemon Sole Papillote, to a green-fruit olive oil that we serve with a Green Apple Sorbet,” says Lorange.

At the age of 19, he trained at three-star Michelin-rated Restaurant Georges Blanc in Vonnas, France, and continued to hone his craft while working as a private chef to Spanish singer Julio Iglesias and cooking for celebrities such as Oscar de la Renta, Princess Stephanie of Monaco, and the Clintons. At FIG & OLIVE, 40-year-old Lorange finds inspiration along with Halasz during their yearly sojourn through Italy, Spain, and the South of France, where they discover new olive oils and local recipes to create the ingredient-driven menu for the restaurant.

The menu at FIG & OLIVE Newport Beach caters to a range of different dining experiences. Guests can gather at the Crostini Station to enjoy tasting dishes and shareable small plates such as the Zucchini Carpaccio with fresh Lemon Juice, Pine Nut, Parmesan, and Picholine Olive Oil; Octopus a la Gallega, thinly sliced braised Octopus with marinated Bell Pepper, Fingerling Potato, Black Olive, Basil, Arugula, Pimenton Lemon Dressing, and Cobrancosa Olive Oil; a Fig Gorgonzola Tartlet with Melted Gorgonzola, Prosciutto, Fig, Walnut, Arugula, and Tomato on a fine Puff Pastry, Manchego, Fig Spread, and Almond Crostini; Tuna Crudo with Cucumber, Chive, Cilantro, Lemon Sesame Dressing, and Picual Olive Oil; and Marinated Beef Tartar Filet Mignon with Capers, Shallots, Parsley Dijon, and Olive Oil Emulsion served with olive oil crackers.

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For lunch, guests can select a variety of flavorful midday options including a Shrimp & Salmon Riviera Salad, comprised of Tiger Shrimp marinated with fresh Cilantro, shaved Fennel, Avocado, Tomato, and Scallion Toast with Ricotta-marinated Raw Salmon, Citrus, and Cilantro Olive Oil Dressing, and finished with Arbequina Olive Oil; Lobster Bisque with Pimenton Chive Mascarpone and Olive Oil Crackers; and Herbs de Provence Paillard Chicken, finished with Rosemary Olive Oil, and served on a bed of garden heirloom vegetables.

At dinner, patrons can choose from entrées such as Chilean Sea Bass marinated in Lemon Thyme with Carrot, Asparagus, Celery Root Purée, Fingerling Potato Confit, Charmoula, and Mascarpone Harissa Olive Oil Emulsion; Grilled Branzino glazed with a Fig and 18-year Balsamic Vinegar, Figs, Snow Peas, and a sweet Picholine Olive Oil; and Provence Rosemary Grilled Lamb Chops marinated with Rosemary, Garlic smoked with a bouquet of Herbes de Provence, finished with a Rosemary Garlic Olive Oil, and served with Goat Cheese Gnocchi and Eggplant roasted with Thyme and Honey.

Desserts include specialties such as the paper-thin Warm Caramelized Apple Tart—a family recipe handed down by Halasz’s mother; Chocolate Pot de Crème with Crunchy Praline Financiers; and Fig Cake with Olive Oil Ice Cream.

Wine Program
A diverse wine list includes varietals that represent the distinctive regional flavors of the South of France, Italy, and Spain, over 20 of which are offered by the glass, along with full bottles and Champagne. White wines include a French Sancerre from Domaine de Tonnellerie; Italian Pinot Grigio from Ritratti in Friuli; and California Chardonnay from Hartford Court in the Russian River Valley. Red wines include a Spanish Tempranillo from Valserrano Crianza in Rioja; French Malbec from Chateau du Caillou in Cahors; and California Cabernet Sauvignon from Oberon in the Napa Valley.

Décor & Space
FIG & OLIVE Newport Beach’s 12,000-square-foot space encompasses a variety of seating options, both indoors and out, accommodating up to 330 guests. The various dining spaces at FIG & OLIVE Newport Beach create a range of personalized experiences for its diners—from casual get-togethers to intimate private dinners.

Upon entering FIG & OLIVE Newport Beach, guests are greeted by a lounge area with high ceiling featuring warm wood beams and orange soffits. The 30-person front lounge embraces a residential feel, with a comfy linen sofa and armchair with pillows, a mix of pendants lights and table lamps, paintings on the walls, and curtains on the windows, with natural travertine tile underfoot. Anchoring the lounge area is a stunning rectangular island marble bar that can host up to 30 people on leather barstools. Other features include iron-work shelves and a large bottle display along the back of the bar. A crostini station at the end of the bar presents a variety of cured meats, marinated vegetables, cheeses, and small plates.

FIG & OLIVE Newport Beach features 3 main dining rooms: the Wine Room, the White Room, and the Orchard Room. With two skylights and five floor-to-ceiling windows with a view of an olive tree forest, the Wine Room beams with natural light. The space can accommodate up to 40 people around wood tables with leather dining chairs. The 48-foot illuminated wine display shows off the large selection of French, Italian, Spanish, and Californian wines. Café curtains and wood flooring complete the room.

Like the Wine Room, the White Room which can seat up to 70 people, is illuminated by three skylights and five large windows, offering views of the olive trees. A three-pendant iron-work chandelier provides additional soft lighting for the white banquettes around the room, with white chairs for seating and throw pillows. Rosemary planters and arches separate the travertine-tiled White Room from the Orchard Room. This space can also serve as a private dining room for special events.

Accommodating up to 80 people, the Orchard Room is the central dining area and offers leather dining chair seating at orange linen banquettes and six booths. Guests can dine beneath two olive trees in the center of the room. Six hanging rattan lamps cast light against the glowing wall of 400 olive oil bottles adjacent to the open kitchen. A prominent wall display features framed pressed flowers and herbs from the south of France.

Guests are invited to dine al fresco, taking full advantage of the California Riviera weather on FIG & OLIVE Newport Beach’s Garden Lounge. The 2,646-square-foot terrace offers seating for 80 guests. Sofas and four-top wood tables surround a large fireplace in the middle of the room. A mix of orange booths and banquettes with throw pillows line the perimeter, with 43 olive trees serving as the backdrop. The space also features a country tile floor, planters all around, and a retractable roof.

Retail Collection
FIG & OLIVE Newport Beach offers a unique retail component featuring over 30 different varietals of olive oil that are all available for purchase. These range in flavor from a delicate and fruity unfiltered extra virgin olive oil from Chateau Leoube in Provence to a buttery Arbequina from Melgarejo in Andalucía, Spain, and a peppery Tuscan olive oil from Villa Lucia. Other products sold include an assortment of infused olive oils, aged vinegars, and specialty olives & spreads. Prices range from $12-32. FIG & OLIVE’s retail collection is available nationally at www.bestoliveoilstore.com/.

About FIG & OLIVE Newport Beach
FIG & OLIVE Newport Beach is located on 401 Newport Center Dr., Suite 151 at Fashion Island, Newport Beach, CA. The restaurant serves French Riviera-inspired fare in an approachable setting suitable for any occasion. FIG & OLIVE Newport Beach is open for dinner daily from 5 – 11 p.m. on Monday – Sunday. The restaurant will introduce lunch and brunch service in January 2014. On weekends, special holidays, and private events, FIG & OLIVE’s lively ambiance is amplified with soulful house and new Downtempo music by St. Tropez‘s celebrity DJ Julien Nolan. Reservations can be made by calling 212.924.1200 and walk-ins are welcome. For more information on the restaurant, please visit www.FigandOlive.com or Facebook and Twitter.

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