It is not always easy find a good restaurant that is open during holidays, with reasonable pricing. We needed a restaurant that offers good food at reasonable price on Thanksgiving day, and although there were several restaurants who were open with special Thanksgiving menu, they were either booked or the Prix Fixe menu was very expensive. Finally, I came across Green Fig, with reasonable Prix Fixe price. They are located at the fourth floor inside Yotel. The elevator of Yotel is super dark, as if we are inside (or going to) night club of some sort…
Once we got out of the elevator, we were back in the light, thank goodness. They had an interesting layout on this floor – bar and restaurant to the left, lounge area behind beaded curtain in the center, and more lounge area (?) to the right. The host/hostess counter was right by the beaded curtain, with green leaves and the restaurant’s name on it.
Behind the green wall with their name was a very cool and interesting artwork, a female with jean skirt with rose bush as a head. I really liked it.
The lounge area in the middle was really nice, with bright but earthy colors, and simple furniture. Seemed like hotel guests were using this space. Nice size and quiet, good spot to relax or meet up with others. The lounge area to the right was separated by glass walls and doors, with a bar at the end. I think the guests who sits in this area would need to order a drink? I am not sure…
The restaurant was quiet on this Thanksgiving day in the afternoon. We just finished watching the Thanksgiving Day parade, so we were all in happy mood, ready to have some good good. The dining area was not too large, but good enough size. The dining area was in two levels, half-booth seating on the lower level, and table seating on higher level just a couple steps up.
On the lower level, they had a full bar with plenty of bar seating as well. Between the bar and booth, they had some table seating, but the tables were low to the ground, so I don’t think those are used for dining much. I also spotted a grand piano at the back of the dining area, I wondered if they offer some sort of live music on some nights?
Their Prix Fixe for Thanksgiving Day ($42) were three courses, with one appetizer, one main, and one dessert of your choice. Since there were several of us, we got to see and eat most of their offerings. They offer modern Israeli cuisine with influences from countries around it. Therefore, their dishes are made with spices imported from those regions, that provides unique flavors.
For appetizer, they had Pumpkin Asado, Smoked Mushrooms, and Butternut Squash Soup. They all sounded really good! One of us ordered the Pumpkin Asado, which comes with nutmeg, cinnamon, toasted pumpkin seeds, yogurt, honey, and sweet potato ships. When it arrived, it was nothing like how I imagined. It almost looked like a salmon dish, but it certainly was pumpkin. It was cooked just right, soft and moist, and very comforting. The nutmeg and cinnamon added extra Autumn flavor. Everything worked really well together, but I am not sure if I liked the yogurt. The coldness and non-sweet flavor was a bit too different from the rest, I felt like it didn’t go quite well with the dish. It had some added unique taste from the spice, very interesting. They actually made a mistake on the order and brought two of them. Instead of taking one back, they left on the table and said “maybe someone [at our table] will enjoy it.” I thought that was a nice gesture.
Two of us ordered Smoked Mushroom, which comes with polenta, cumin, corn dust, and mushroom reduction. With the mistake in order, they only brought out one. The second one took a very long time before it came out. The dish itself was really good and tasty. The polenta was creamy and velvety, corn added extra flavor, and the mushroom was cooked perfectly. The spices worked really well with mushroom, enhancing the original flavor of the mushroom itself.
Butternut Squash Soup is made with labene cheese, and it was different from any other butternut squash soup I have ever tasted. With their special blend of spices, it had extra flavor that was very unique to their own. Made us think of Middle East or India flavor. For some people who are not big fan of those type of spices, it might be a bit too strong flavor of the spice. I did enjoy the uniqueness of it. Out of all the butternut squash soups out there, this one certainly stands out.
For the main dish, they had two kinds of turkey dish, Gnocci, and Dorade. Two of us ordered Carved Turkey, rubbed with butter, Bahaat and cumin. It came with mushed potatoes and garlic dust. The ones who ordered this dish was concerned with cumin being too strong, but it really was subtle, a good accompaniment instead of ruining the dish. It was a good amount of turkey and well prepared.
Gnocchi came with sweet potato cream, Brussels sprouts, and goat cheese. It was velvety and comforting. The gnocci was fluffy and chewy without being too chewy, and Brussels sprouts were a nice touch, a fresh flavor mixed in with the rest of gooey, creamy dish. Nicely done.
Dorade came with spiced pumpkin purée, maitake mushroom, and crispy fish skin. Two of us ordered this dish, and the fish looked a bit different on each plate… I guess that can happen with individual fish, or different parts of the fish. It was flaky and juicy, good amount of saltiness, and the crispy fish skin was an interesting addition to the dish. Pumpkin purée turned the fish dish into Autumn fish dish, and mushrooms were really nice too.
We also ordered a couple of side dishes to go with the meal. We chose Wild Mushroom Stuffing ($5) and Cornbread ($5). They were ok, not great. I feel like the unique spices they use on dishes were particularly strong on these. It was not as comforting flavor as we wanted them to be, but a bit too spicy.
For dessert, they had Cheesecake, Carrot Cake, and Pecan Pie. Cheesecake was made into some sort of abstract art, with flaky cracker on top. It also came with fresh strawberries and sweet syrup-type drizzle. It was rich, dense, velvety and tasty.
Carrot Cake seemed like the biggest slice, and was plated really nicely. The cream cheese filling was really nice, creamy and classy. The cake itself was moist and great flavor of carrot with nice sweetness to it. I really liked this one.
Pecan Pie was sliced rather thin, and a bit broken when it arrived. Maybe because it was sliced so thin? Otherwise, it was a good piece of pie, with lots of pecan and solid flavor. The crust was a bit too hard, but it was still tasty.
We ordered some tea to go with our desserts. They brought out a big box of tea bags to choose from, and they were Tea Forté brand. We got Mango Peach Green Tea and Forté Breakfast. They were both pretty good. I like having a hot drink like tea or cappuccino to go with my dessert, so it was perfect.
Since this restaurant is in side a hotel, and sharing the space with the hotel, the bathroom is also a shared space. It was located by the elevator, and it was uni-sex. I have seen a single restroom being uni-sex, but not a big restroom. This was interesting to say the least. Definitely can’t send your kids alone without them being confused or possibly scared…
Food was good and service was very friendly and polite, but slow. The server took our orders without writing it down (I think so that it looks better?) which made it difficult since he had to repeat everyone’s order a couple of times until he go it right. And even then, he got few of our orders wrong. Furthermore, it took a while for dishes to comes out, and even when it did, not all of our dishes came out at the same time for everyone. This was not good, we either had to wait for everyone’s dishes to come out, or feels guilty eating when someone at your table does not have his/her dish brought out. As I mentioned, each dish had that extra spice, providing flavors from Israel and Middle East, which was both good and not good, based on personal preference. Overall, we had a nice, quiet, relaxing lunch here.
Green Fig – 570 10th Ave, New York, NY 10036