Located inside the Yotel Hotel, few blogs from Times Square, Green Fig serves, since 2016, modern Israeli cuisine with influences from the Mediterranean and the Middle East, with a menu crafted by Chef de cuisine Yuval Litmanovich that had nice options for vegetarians. For sure the decor looks like an hotel restaurant that is surprising considering how Yotel is and we had the misfortune to go there while part of the dining room seemed to have been reserved for an office Holiday party (nice ugly sweaters though...): it was noisy and the poor staff seemed to be overwhelmed, sometimes asking help from the front of the house that did not seem to care much. Result: wait time to get our order (although we had a reservation, our table was not ready until after 10 minutes), have to ask again for water, and wait time between dishes, to the point that I asked for the check while getting our dessert. Too bad because I enjoyed the food, even if I think that it is overpriced. Here is what we had:
I started with a cocktail that I thought would have more flavor. It was their Big Apple, made with bourbon, apple brandy and maple cinnamon syrup. For $15 they could probably use something better than Old Crow whiskey!!!
At least the appetizers made me forget the wait and the tepid drink. The first one was the fried cauliflower, served with tahini, preserved lemon, almond and fresh mint aioli. When I read the word “fried”, I was imagining something crispy like the fried broccoli at Dirt Candy, but it was not the case. Not a problem because it was delicious, full of flavor for a vegetable that I hated when cooked as a kid.
The second appetizer was the mezze, composed of hummus, tahini, charred eggplant and labneh (yogurt). Served with a very good pita, I enjoyed every single bite at the exception of the tahini that was too liquid and impossible to eat as a dip. The others were superb, especially the eggplant that had a nice smokey taste.
For her entree, Jodi had the bucatini melanzane. The thick pasta, homemade, was accompanied by eggplant and a tomato sauce. But too little of both and I found it a bit dry. I would pass on that one...
For me, not surprisingly, I went for the “Ha’Carmel” market kebab, that is three lamb and beef kebab served with hummus, tahini and a salad. This was superb, the meat being perfectly cooked, not dry , with the bold taste of lamb coming through. I loved the fact that they served it with hummus and tahini that were very good mixed with the meat.
Last was dessert and we could not resist their Moroccan donuts that were seated on top of salted toffee (there could have been more). These donuts were delightfully chewy and I loved the presentation that was kind of rustic. This is definitely a crowd pleaser.
So, overall we had a good meal at Green Fig, despite the issues with the service. The food is quite good there but a bit overpriced. Would I go back? Maybe. I admit that for Middle Eastern cuisine, Byblos remains my favorite.
Enjoy (I did)!
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Green Fig - 570 10th Avenue, New York City, NY 10036