For months now, I have been hearing much buzz around town about the opening of Figue Mediterranean in La Quinta.  I finally made it in, just two weeks after its grand opening.  When a new restaurant opens, there are many kinks needed to be worked out and because of this, I rarely review a restaurant until it has been open for at least a few months.  After dining at Figue, one would believe they had been open for years.  Chef Francois’ menu is certainly one of a kind in our valley, offering flavor combinations of which I could not even dream.

Located on Washington, south of Hwy 111, this beautiful restaurant is bright and welcoming, boasting large, artistic chandeliers.  Tables are dressed with white linen, accented with the largest wine glasses in town.  Some tables are left undressed, showcasing their magnificent marble tops.  The elegant dining room is only outdone by the artistic plating of each dish.  My guest and I were seated in view of a large open kitchen.  After our order and wine selection, we were ready to begin with a charcuterie plate of house cured meats and pickled vegetables paired with fresh baked focaccia bread.

We would enjoy many items on this visit, as it was too difficult to decide.  The Grilled Sardines were a favorite, with charred lemon and capers.  We would also enjoy the Kibbé, a small plate offering Lebanese meatballs with hummus and cucumber salad.  As a huge seafood lover, I must state that the Diver Sea Scallops with julienned zucchini and saffron sauce were incredible.  Our small plates were colorful, well-presented and perfectly proportioned.

Before our entrées, we shared a cold asparagus salad with frisée and a 63 degree poached egg, accented with speck, a cured meat similar to prosciutto.  This was an incredible dish, bursting with savory flavors!  We were ready for entrées at this time and we would not be disappointed with our selections.  Taking the advice of our incredibly knowledgeable server, Bayardo, I more than enjoyed the Whole Roasted Daurade prepared with artichoke bottoms and fennel, topped with fresh olive tapenade.  The fish was delicate and seasoned perfectly with fresh rosemary, thyme and lemon.  My guest would share her Provencale Beef Daube: Kobe beef cheek over saffron risotto.  The beef would fall apart like osso buco, only much more tenderness than a veal shank.  It was truly a “melt in your mouth” dish!

Not sure if we had room for dessert, we ventured forward to try a couple of items anyway.  Once again, the portions were perfect and we somehow made it through!  The Marcona Chocolate Bombe would satisfy any chocolate lover with its creamy Valrhona Chocolate mousse.  The Citrus Yogurt Panna Cotta was creamy and topped with a cotton candy-like treat referred to as Fairy Floss.  Our desserts were as unique as the courses preceding them.

Overall, this restaurant offers delicious food that is as beautiful as the surrounding décor.  Service is truly impressive and the sommelier adds a nice touch of class to the dining experience.  With some of the best food in our valley and certainly the best service, I will return!  Fique Mediterranean is open nightly at 5pm and serves to 10pm Sunday through Thursday, open to 11pm Friday and Saturday.  The Figue Bar is open from 4pm nightly.  Located at 47474 Washington Street in La Quinta, call 760-698-9040 for reservations or visit their website, www.eatfigue.com

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