The New York-based Mediterranean spot Fig & Olive is in the midst of change. Over the last year, the company went through an extensive redesign, with a new interior and a new menu at the Melrose Place location. It took two weeks to complete the rapid renovation, and tony restaurant is open.
The company is still recovering from some PR disasters in 2015. Not only was there alleged salmonella outbreak at the DC and LA locations, but the LA Fig & Olive nearly had its health permit revoked that same year. But a third hard-hitting scandal might have been the final straw, as the public found out the restaurant produced menu items at a central commissary kitchen in Long Island City, New York, instead of cooking everything in house on the premises. And while it might be a common practice to reheat and serve food at some restaurants, it seemed a bit off-putting to see $30 dishes prepared thousands of miles away.
The negative attention forced the company to make some fundamental changes and hire new leadership, especially in the kitchen. The design and menu changes are company-wide, with the New York location being renovated this year.
Here are three big things to know about Fig & Olive’s $1.3 million dollars in renovations:
Melrose Place Renovations
The dining room has new pendants, brand new art, reupholstered furniture, with a center island tree, there’s also a new upstairs lounge, and a rose-themed lounge and terrace.
A New Chef
When ownership hired a new leadership team in 2017, they also brought on chef Tim Hughes. Tim Hughes has been with Fig & Olive for four years and was promoted to the corporate chef role in August 2017. Hughes’ CV includes stints at Nikki Beach, the Rittenhouse Hotel under Chef Jean Marie Lacroix, the Gansevoort hotel/STK group to name a few. Hughes started recreating Fig & Olive’s Mediterranean menu last year, with a finalized menu headed to the Melrose location in early September.
New leadership sparked the overhaul. Aside from adding Hughes, the team pulled two from the noteworthy B. F. Saul Company Hospitality Group, including CEO Shaun Smithson, and SVP of Operations Chris Meaker.
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