By Daniel Vaillancourt
It's not over-reaching to say that dining at Figue is like exploring Western civilization, one plate at a time. A foodie’s dream menu captures flavors from Barcelona, Marseilles, Naples, Athens, Beirut, Algiers, and Tangier. While the curb appeal of Figue’s modern desert building is sleek and masculine, the restaurant’s interior is a mélange of whimsical shapes and the sensual textures of acacia wood, Pistaccio onyx, Carrera marble and Italian leather.
Figue is the vision of veteran restaurateur Lee Morcus, a scion of the Kaiser Restaurant Group, who’s a food entrepreneur in his own right. “My first memories are of food,” says Morcus. “I was raised in my grandmother’s kitchen, and spent time making cheese or cutting meat in my grandfather’s grocery store. Back then, ‘organic’ was not the trendy thing, it was the only thing.”
Morcus distills his life experiences (including his Lebanese heritage) into every aspect of the Figue experience. He imports olive oil from 3,000-year-old trees planted by Roman soldiers. He sources tagines from Morocco, imports fish from their native Mediterranean waters, and even hand-picked the sauté pans for the kitchen simply because “they make better food.” No detail was overlooked in providing the purest expression of local, farmfresh, organic ingredients of the highest quality.
At Figue, sharing is caring. The seasonal menu is organized into six sections: Salumi and Cured Meats; Small Plates; Soup, Salads & Pasta; Big Plates, Sides; and Desserts. Executive Chef François de Mélogue treats his kitchen like a culinary art studio, showcasing the fusion of food cultures that emanate from the Mediterranean region.
Depending on the occasion, guests may enjoy Figue’s stylish and comfortable ambiance from the open crudo bar/charcuterie kitchen to the sharing tables and casbah-style lounges to the main dining room and outdoor seating for parties of all sizes. Figue is the new standard for casual, fine dining.
Figue Bar (including food) is open daily from 4 p.m. until we run out of wine. Dinner service Sunday — Thursday from 5 p.m. — 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. — 11 p.m.
Figue Mediterranean Restaurant
47474 Washington Street, La Quinta, CA 92253
• Kibbe — Lebanese lamb and bulgur wheat meatballs, cucumber salad, hummus
• The Mad Spaniard — Jamon Serrano, chorizo, air dried tuna, Mahon cheese, olives
• Plancha Octopus and Calamari — Shaved fennel, shiitakes, wild arugula, mother’s milk olive oil, balsamic vinegar and grilled lemon
• Fideuà — Rustic Catalan “Pasta Paella”, lobster, mussels, shrimp and aioli
• Gnocchi Tocco de Carne — Potato dumplings, organic pork and porcini sauce
• Lamb and Fig Tagine — Spit roast Elysian fields lamb marinated in ginger and garlic, served over fig, chickpea and vegetale cous cous and harissa sauce
• Citrus Yogurt Panna Cotta — Citrus labne, apricots Pistachio Olive Oil and Fig Cake Spiced Road Caravan figs, pomegranate sorbet
• M’Hanncha — Coiled Moroccan baklava, salted pistachio ice cream, orange honey sauce
• Lavandou — Prosecco, Hendricks gin, house made Limoncello, house grown lavender
• Figuegroni — Boudier Saffron Gin, figcello, Campari, lemon
• Figuetini — House macerated and infused fig vodka, St. Germaine liqueur, organic figs, mint, orange
• La Soufrandiere Pouilly-Vinzelles
• Vie de Romans Sauvignon Blanc
• Bodegas Avanthia Godello
• Vieux Telegraph Chateauneuf-du-Pape
• Sassacaia Super Tuscan
• El Nido ‘Clio’ Monastrell