Hell’s Kitchen- a neighborhood that is rich in NYC history is definitely one worth exploring. It’s a community that back in the early 1900’s, was known for being a sketchy and rather tough neighborhood. The area was popular for it’s original speakeasies, community lead by gangsters and a flurry of unsolved ghastly murders. But, today, Hell’s Kitchen is home to tons of Off Broadway theatres, elegant restaurants, chic bars, trendy hotels and more recently, loads of luxury condos.
And, right above the madness of 42nd street, you will find YOTEL- a chic hotel with modern-day designs. YOTEL is a British company, and their hotel chain (with other locations including London Gatwick, London Heathrow, Schiphol and Times Square) is notorious for its small, yet efficiently designed rooms.
Here in the in the heart of Hells Kitchen, I discovered a hidden gem- right above the madness of the city lies the newly redesigned Green Fig.
A restaurant featuring Mediterranean inspired dishes with North African influences. The menu is as diverse as the regions it is derived from.
The decor is minimalist, with earthy tones, lots of plants, and a modern, chic environment.
The dishes are a myriad of distinctive flavors and are seasoned with spices directly from the region and feature ingredients that are fresh and locally sourced. The experience at Green Fig was kind of like having dinner at someone’s house. Family style, the dishes are meant to be shared and food arrives, as it is prepared, in no precise order.
I absolutely loved the food. The ingredients gave every dish a zesty taste and you could truly savor the variety of flavors in each bite. The menu is unique with some of the favorite and traditional Mediterranean dishes like hummus and chickpeas, but the way they fuse these dishes is what makes Green Fig truly one of a kind.
My favorite was the lamb style pizza (below).
Delicious lamb, chickpeas, cilantro, red onions, toasted almonds and a creamy sauce over homemade flatbread.
But the kalthoum steak (below) was to die for. Paired with wild mushrooms, Jerusalem artichoke puree, jalapenos, fava beans and my personal favorite: brussel sprouts.
Other popular menu items I tried:
hummus • tahini foam • taramasalata • tzatziki charred eggplant • labane • red peppers salad served with "laffa" - homemade flat bread
the cantine cauli ower • green tahini • mint • green fire • toasted almonds za'atar • feta • cilantro
burrata • beets puree • fresh oregano and fennel • sumac
Jerusalem style beef tartar • zucchini • burnt eggplant cream • tahini • green fire • quail egg • artichoke chips
thinly sliced duck • carrot puree • apricots •nutmeg • pumpkin seeds • ras el hanut
jaffa to tijuana • pork belly • mexican corn • jerusalem bagel • feta cheese pomegranate and mustard seeds glaze
quartered za'tar chicken • faro risotto • spinach + marjoram cream • roasted leeks • scallions asparagus • fennel
the "not kosher" bbq • pork short ribs • homemade bbq sauce • potato wedges • za'atar "green fire" and labane dip • kohlrabi
The man behind the distinctive selections on the menu, is no stranger to the international culinary scene. In fact, Executive Chef, Gabriel Israel a native of Tel Aviv, loves to take the traditional cuisine from his homeland, and fuse it with North African & Mediterranean dishes. The result? What the folks at Green Fig like to call “Middleterranean” cuisine.
What’s awesome about Green Fig, is the a few steps away, lays a fun, expansive indoor/outdoor rooftop. Social Drink & Food- is the YOTEL’s newest rooftop bar serving light bites, eclectic cocktails, and entertaining music.
I even ran into a group of friends playing flip cup with wine. Took me back to my college days (except
The 7,000 sqft rooftop is the largest outdoor space of any hotel in NYC. It’s the perfect spot to catch some sick views of the city, enjoy refreshing drinks and dine in a chic, yet laidback atmosphere.