The Mediterranean restaurant was buzzing with customers, and the ambiance was light and airy, which was lovely as we stepped in from the NYC street. As my friends and l ducked into the Manhattan location of Fig & Olive, we thought they wouldn’t be able to accommodate us. Yet, we were greeted by a lovely hostess, and they made us feel extremely welcome as they prepared an incredible meal that was based on their signature olive oil.

The French Mediterranean dishes were traditional recipes served in a beautiful contemporary way. The Fig & Olive story begins in Provence, France, where fig and olive trees are a symbol of peace and prosperity. Located between the Alps and the Mediterranean Sea, Provence has always been a crossroads of people, cultures and flavors. Inspired by such abundance and diversity, the owners founded Fig & Olive in 2005, to pay tribute not only to the French region, but also to the Mediterranean gastronomic heritage. Now they have 9 locations across New York, Los Angeles, Newport Beach, Chicago, D.C., and Houston.

As we sipped from the selection of cocktails, the crostini was a delight for the palate. The chef brought us delectable appetizers that the table chose (they are usually served plated three or six). Many were grinning as we tried the choices. The ingredients were simple and fresh. My favorites were the Manchego crostini with fig and marcona almond, as well as the goat cheese and caramelized onion. My friend was raving about the smoked salmon crostini with crème fraiche and caviar.

My first course was the signature Fig and Olive salad, which did not disappoint with the gorgonzola and Manchego cheese mixed with apples, walnuts, and scallions.

One of my friends said that the prime filet mignon was “perfectly prepared” to her liking with the potato purée, haricot vert & wax bean sauté, and the olive oil emulsion.

My grandmother always added pine nuts to her dishes, so the caramelized cauliflower risotto with roasted pine nuts, fines herbes, and pine nut butter conjured up memories of comfort food.

The desserts were divine. I enjoyed the pot de crème with both white and milk chocolate crème, meringue crisp, and hazelnut praline.

The chef came out to inquire about our experience, and we all raved about the quality and presentation of the food. Our experience was beyond lovely and I plan on dining at another Fig & Olive during my travels. I would wholeheartedly recommend that you enjoy the olive oil infused delicacies there for yourself.

Dr. Shellie Hipsky is the CEO of Inspiring Lives International, the President of the non-profit 501(c)(3) the Global Sisterhood, and the Editor-In-Chief of Inspiring Lives Magazine. She was deemed “Inspirational Woman of the Month” in Inspirational Woman Magazine and a “Luminary Author” for Inspire Me Today. She earned "Woman of Achievement," “Entrepreneur of the Year in Inspiration and Empowerment,” and “VIP Woman of the Year” and was also a 2015 National Professional Woman’s Association’s “Woman of the Year” and the "2013 Best Business Woman in Pittsburgh” by the Women’s Small Business Association. A former professor of the Global Perspective at the Ph.D. Level for over a decade, she is a proven expert on what she teaches and keynotes events around the globe. Her internationally best-selling Common Threads trilogy provides Inspiration, Empowerment, and Balance based on 100 amazing interviews from her Empowering Women Radio. Dr. Shellie’s latest book, illustrated by her 10-year-old daughter Alyssa, is Hopping off on a Business Trip: the first in her The World is Ours series for children. She is currently writing her 12th book, Woo Hoo! Brand You! through Morgan James Publishing. Dr. Shellie continues to share quality time with her family while helping to inspire the world!