There's no more gratifying life lesson than discovering limitless variety in something you thought was homogeneous -- like with adhesive bandages, or...nipples. To put such a universe-expanding experience into your mouth, try Fig & Olive's new Meatpacking District location, opening today.
The original F&O's up on Lexington and 62nd -- despite its reputation you probably haven't eaten there, because it's on Lexington, and 62nd. The MPD spot, overseen by Julio Iglesias' former personal chef Pascal Lorange, is more convenient, but the focus is the same: olive oils. There are 30 varieties of the stuff, mainly from Italy, Spain, and France, where the obsessive perfection of Extra Virgin helps distract from the pain of constantly losing bike races to Americans. Each entrée's served with three distinct o. oils, carefully selected to blow up the taste of Grilled Lamb, Clams and Tiger Shrimp, Lemon Crabmeat Ravioli, etc. The oils are described with terms like "buttery," "intense," "very fruity and delicate," and other wine-ish jargon you've also used to describe yourself in Village Voice personal ads.
While F&O's upscale enough for even the most out-of-your-league dates, you can also snag a casual meal in the lounge, or at the marble bar. If Pascal stops in, be sure to ask him if it's true that Europeans use olive oil to lubricate their lovemaking -- then learn the downside of variety when he answers, "The same oil that's moistening your carpaccio was once used to make Enrique".