Mike Berman’s Washington Watch

October 26, 2012 11:48 AM

Restaurant: Flying Fig

Flying Fig

2523 Market Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio
Debbie and I went to the Flying Fig for dinner with Jimmy, Suzie, Roland, Judy, Zack, and Debbie (another Debbie) for dinner.

As you enter the relatively narrow restaurant, the greeting station is immediately to the left and there is an "L" shaped bar to the left with 13 tall tools. Just past the greeting station there are several small booths ranging from two to four people, and then in the remainder of that room and an attached room there are tables, for 2, 4, 6 and 8. These tables can also be configured for parties of even greater number. We were seated in the main dining area. There is a window on the kitchen in the second smaller dining room. The restaurant is relatively dark, and on this particular evening was quite noisy, although we could easily hear each other.

Overall the restaurant seats 80 people for dinner and an additional 40 outside on a sidewalk patio.

According to the serving person, the menu changes from day to day. However, when WW compared the sample menu that is posted on line, dated August 2012, it is primarily the same as we received at our table in September. For example, the peach salad which was on the August menu was no longer on the September menu...I assume because they were just about out of season. There was on the August menu Tea Hills Farm Chicken Breast and Thigh, and on our menu the offering was Tea Hills Farm Chicken Paillard.

Plates of onion bread were delivered to the table and a whole lot of cross tasting was the order of the evening.

We started by sharing a series of "small starts": Daily Bruschetta, House Made Toppings, Buratta Cheese with Olive Tepenade, Arugula, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Sea Salt, Crostini; 2 orders of Tempura Battered Green Beans, Ponzu Sauce and Pineapple Caramel; Crispy Calamari & Rock Shrimp Tossed with Chillies, Scallions, Spiced Seat Salt, Pickled Carrots, Arugula, and Lemon Aioli; and Roasted Local Shishito Peppers stuffed with Sausage; Local Beet Salad with Pickled Beets, Whipped Cloverton, 6 minute egg, Pistachios, Multigrain Croutons, Lucky's Honey Vinaigrette.

For main courses the selections were: Jimmy, the Mahi Mahi special; Judy, Herbed Ricotta Gnocchi Confit Chicken, Killbuck Valley Mushrooms, Local Chard, Scallions, Haricot Vert, Herbs; Suzie, Tea Hills Farm Chicken Paillard, Warm Salad of German Butterball Potatoes, Tongues of Fire Beans, Swiss Chard, Local Red Pepper Coulis; Zack, Debbie, Rolland, Bourbon Glazed Short Rib Potato & Swiss Chard Cake, Smoke Provolone, Crispy Onion Rings; Debbie, Grilled Hanger Steak, Chile Rub, Gremolata Potatoes, Point Reyes Blue Cheese, Cherry Tomatoes, Local Onions, Arugala; Mike, Seared Duck Breast, Mustard Spaetzle, Caramelized Onion, Carrots, Arugula Port-Dried Cherry Reduction.

The shared desserts were Warm Molten Chocolate Cake, Kahlua Syrup, Chocolate Ganache, Fig Ice Cream; Angel Food Cake, Peaches, Rasberries, Autumn Strawberries, and Apple Cobler with Vanilla Ice Cream.

Portion sizes seemed about right for an average person.

The entire men's restroom has a greenish hue, the walls, and even the large tiles on the floor are shade of green. As you enter there is a marble counter with two white ceramic washbasins. Then there is a wall and a single white ceramic wall hanging urinal. To the right of that appliance is a black metal wall commode closet, open at the top and bottom, and a single white ceramic commode. The whole place has a nice feel.

Dress is casual, valet parking seems to be a necessity and reservations are generally required. The chef-owner is Karen Small. The restaurant is known for being very much a part of the farm-to-table restaurant movement.

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