Fig & Olive

Fig & Olive Chicago Restaurant 9 When it comes to restaurants with ambiance, it’s hard to beat the Mediterranean flare of Fig & Olive. Tucked above one of my favorite shops, Carolina Herrara (still dreaming about this dress), their swanky space serves up the perfect combination of style and flavor for catching a little R&R while shopping on Oak Street. And for those of you outside of the Windy City, they have locations in NYC and CA too!

So one abnormally warm and spring-ish Saturday in January, I met the girls (Gigi, Starr and Katharine) for brunch and serious window shopping.Fig & Olive Chicago Restaurant 7 The enormous bar makes for a truly fantastic entrance space complete with two-story atrium and towering center olive tree. Fig & Olive Chicago Restaurant 6 Fig & Olive Chicago Restaurant 3Fig & Olive Chicago Restaurant 4It comes fully stocked with quite a few bottles of my favorite bubbly!
Fig & Olive Chicago Restaurant After you proceed to the next level, you find yourself transported to a sunny, open white space that inevitably makes your heart groan for summer and days spent leisurely nibbling fresh fare from a Mediterranean seaside cafe. See the Olive Tree from the bar below growing into the atrium dining space?
Fig & Olive Chicago Restaurant 17 Fig & Olive Chicago Restaurant 15 Not to mention an enormous wall of olive oil bottles hiding the kitchen behind. Am I the only person who gets excited about taking peaks into kitchens and watching the chefs at work? I always learn something new!
Fig & Olive Chicago Restaurant 12 Fig & Olive Chicago Restaurant 2 The seating space is luxurious yet relaxed with marble-top tables, cozy pillows and warm sunlight radiating through the overhead windows. 
Fig & Olive Chicago Restaurant 16 Fig & Olive Chicago Restaurant 18Fig & Olive Chicago Restaurant 21Not to mention their killer outdoor patio that, AGAIN, makes you pine for warmer months. 
Fig & Olive Chicago Restaurant 19Fig & Olive Chicago Restaurant 10 The view is quite spectacular!
Fig & Olive Chicago Banane et Orange Mocktail 1 Dubbed a kitchen and tasting bar, Fig & Olive is all about trying as many new and innovative dishes as you can manage to scarf down. Fig & Olive Chicago Banane et Orange Mocktail Starr and Gigi both started off with one of Fig’s famous brunch mocktails, Banane et Orange: freshly squeezed orange juice, muddled banana, fresh ginger and lemon juice with clover honey. Someday when I’m preggers and can’t have a mimosa, I’ll be living off these! The price for their mocktails is quite high but the flavor is astoundingly impressive!
Fig & Olive Chicago Oysters 14Next came copious amounts of oysters!! Fig & Olive Chicago Oysters 8Which may have been my #1 reason for visiting that morning…

A photo posted by mushroomstew (@mushroomstew) on

Fig & Olive Chicago Oysters 3Fig & Olive Chicago OystersFig & Olive Chicago Oysters 4Katharine tried her very first oyster that day too — her horrified reaction is absolutely priceless! You can watch a gif of it here. Without thinking it through, we told Katharine to just pile on the toppings as she pleased and the mixture of mignonettes positively ruined the oyster flavor for her. When she tried them the following week at GT Fish & Oyster, she kept the dressings simple and loved them!

Pro Tip: don’t overload your oysters!Fig & Olive Chicago Oysters 7Unless you’re like me and you LOVE horseradish. Then pile it on and prepare to clear your sinuses!Sed Bona enjoying Fig & Olive Chicago Oysters**SLURP** Sinus Clearing achieved!Fig & Olive Chicago Oysters 11Fig & Olive Chicago Truffle Mushroom Fontina Scrambled Eggs 9Starr and I opted for the Truffle Mushroom Fontina Scrambled Eggs: scrambled eggs with cremini & black trumpet mushrooms mascarpone, fontina, scallion and White Truffle Olive Oil. The texture was beautiful but I have to admit I was disappointed in the lack of truffle and mushroom flavor in these eggs. I was expecting a flavor wallop and instead got cheesy scrambled eggs which, while excellently prepared, fell seriously short in mushroom-truffleness.
Fig & Olive Chicago Truffle Mushroom Fontina Scrambled Eggs 2It was very photogenic though!Fig & Olive Chicago Truffle Mushroom Fontina Scrambled Eggs 6Fig & Olive Chicago Truffle Mushroom Fontina Scrambled EggsAnd the simply dressed side salad of fresh produce and a drizzle of basil oil was divine!Fig & Olive Provencal Carrot and Thyme SoupKatharine opted to start with the Provençal Carrot & Thyme Soup: heirloom baby carrot, celery, onion garlic, thyme, crushed tomato and olive oil crouton which was elegantly poured over croutons and carrots at the table. 
Fig & Olive Chicago Maine Lobster BisqueGigi ordered the most decadent soup I’ve sampled all winter: Maine Lobster Bisque with Pimenton chive mascarpone and olive oil crackers. I can’t think of a lobster bisque I’ve enjoyed more.Fig & Olive Chicago Crab Cake Eggs BenedictFor her entrée, Katharine opted for the Crab Cake Eggs Benedict: poached egg on toasted crostone bread, crab cake, sautéed spinach with shallot, tomato, paprika hollandaise sauce, served with a side of roasted potatoes with cipollini onion.

I forgot to snag a piece of this so I will have to order it on my next visit to try! Doesn’t it look scrumptious?
Fig & Olive Chicago Restaurant 13Fig & Olive Chicago Restaurant Brunch Dessert Menu Next it was on to dessert!

No self-respecting, posh brunch group forgoes dessert on a Saturday morning. You wear pants with a high spandex content and you forge on!!! Even when you don’t think you can manage another bite. And most especially when you brunch group is armed with five-figures in camera gear specifically curated for food photography.

Just sayin’…

**Disclaimed: this is me rationalizing the fact that I haven’t lost any of my Christmas Cookie weight yet.**Fig & Olive Chicago Espresso Brunch Paytington & Co at Fig & Olive Chicago Isn’t Katharine such a beauty? You can see her outfit post from our brunch here too.Fig & Olive Chicago Warm Chocolate Soufflé and Crème Brûlée Cheesecake Ah the grand arrival of the best course! Is there anything more exciting than a table full of desserts?

Ok, ok a table full of Prada bags would be pretty damn exciting too!Fig & Olive Chicago Warm Chocolate Soufflé 1 Katharine and Gigi both opted for this sinful Warm Chocolate Soufflé with candied orange & vanilla ice cream.Fig & Olive Chicago Warm Chocolate Soufflé 2If only I had gotten a better shot of the melty center for you! It simply oozed out!Fig & Olive Chicago Crème Brûlée Cheesecake 5 But I was too busy staring down this bad boy! Starr and I both ordered Fig’s Crème Brûlée Cheesecake with olive oil crisp and caramelized peaches.
Fig & Olive Chicago Crème Brûlée Cheesecake 3 **CRACK**Fig & Olive Chicago Crème Brûlée Cheesecake 1How sexy is THAT? While the peaches and savory crisp may seem like… bizarre… choices for a dessert, I was surprised to find that they really did belong together. The savory and tart elements balance the perfectly sweet and whipped texture of the cheesecake while the crunchy and oh-so-fun-to-crack topping lent a beautifully burnt sweetness to the remaining elements. It was a splendidly perfect dessert!

Our brunch was hilarious fun and I can’t wait to go back to Fig & Olive in the summer months and take advantage of their gorgeous balcony!

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