Today’s (December 28, 2015) Washington Post article about the unmasking of the “made by hand” chocolate (it wasn’t true) by the Mast brothers in Brooklyn, also pointed out the Washington City Paper story about the plated meals at the Fig & Olive Restaurant in Washington DC. To quote : “That beautifully plated meal at upscale Washington restaurant Fig & Olive? As the Washington City Paper reported last week, it was partly made in a commercial kitchen in Long Island City, N.Y., before being shipped and reheated for your dinner. (The company president told The Post that the facility has since been shut down.)”
To quote directly from the Washington City Paper article, “the $26 truffle risotto [at Figs & Olive] (no longer on the menu) was pre-cooked and frozen at a central commissary in Long Island City, New York, then shipped to restaurants around the country, where it was reheated with cheese and garnished.” (Of course, the restaurant has had even more serious problems this past fall as many diners came down with salmonella poisoning.) Click here to see how the Truffle Mushroom Croquett was allegedly made according to the Washington City Paper. Here’s what the Washington Post’s fabled food critic Tom Sietsema had to say about the dishes flavored with truffle oil: “Beware, however, of dishes flavored with truffle oil, which the kitchen, piloted by former Carmine’s chef Laurence Cohen, overuses in both an opener of sorry cremini croquettes and a main course of gloppy, undercooked penne with mushrooms. And for all its enhancements — slivered almonds, harissa, apricots — the wan chicken tagine seems to channel Minnesota more than Morocco.”
To be fair, we suspect that we have other restaurants in the DC area that need to be “unmasked,” to use the Washington Post’s term, about just where their meals are coming from. Perhaps Tom Sietsema can point us in the right direction!
As a lover of figs and olives, I once looked forward to enjoying a meal at a place called Fig & Olive — not sure I will be doing that any time soon!