Gotta love a place with a name like Fig Jam. From the owners of Baraonda and Publik Draft House, this relatively new spot occupies the corner vacated by Baroni at Brookwood Station. This is where I celebrated my birthday….for the third time.
LC and I worked up our appetites early and couldn’t wait for our 8 o’clock reservation, instead arriving around 7:15 to find the place unusually quiet for a Saturday night. The space was warm and inviting as we settled into a private table in the back.
First things first….what to drink? A list of signature cocktails caught our attention. The Fig Jam made with vanilla infused organic vodka, fig preserve, lemon juice, maple syrup, and rhubarb bitters sounded irresistible. We also ordered the mini cheddar cheese sandwich, one of the nine small plates offered.
Served with an amazing apple chutney, we polished off the delectible little sammies lickety split, as well as our subtly sweet and deceptively strong cocktails. With no clear plan in mind, we moved on to one of the medium plates, mussles in coconut lemongrass curry broth.
When it comes to mussels, I’m spoiled. Noche used to have gigantic ones swimming in a very spicy chili broth with cilantro and hominy. These days, however, no one can hold a candle to chef Shane Devereux’ at Top Flr. Although their description is almost identicle to Fig Jam’s, Devereux adds a serious dose of heat. I request a spoon for the broth every time….seriously. So, although the mussels were very good indeed, the flavor of the broth at Fig Jam lacked the intensity that I love.
Enjoying grazing dish by dish, we decided on the lamb belly with bourbon maple sauce. Another medium plate, there was enough meat for two entrees, with pickled veggies providing a perfect contrast to the sweet glaze.
Having reviewed the menu prior to making the reservation, I was fixated on the duck confit entree. I know duck doesn’t make LC swoon, but he’s a good sport and will usually (and wisely) allow me to make the final decision where food is concerned. LC was, likewise, fixated on the flat breads. So, in an effort to compromise, we ordered both, despite the fact that we were already full. We also ordered two more of the Fig Jam cocktails.
The flatbread was literally half the size of the table and turned out to be the least impressive dish of the evening. It was like an enormous Saltine cracker topped with cubes of dry steak, a smattering of blue cheese, and not enough caramelized onions.
I was much more pleased with the duck confit, an appropriately crispy, fatty leg and thigh served over braised parsnips, with a drizzle of cherry au jus. Beets normally accompany the duck but I requested it without. As if that weren’t enough, we tried the Jefferson mac & cheese as a side, baked in a shallow dish with crunchy bread crumbs on top. Why Jefferson? I don’t know, but I do know that I would have enjoyed the duck and mac more if I had been hungry.
And what’s a birthday celebration without dessert! We barely made a dent in the bread pudding with raisins and cinnamon accented with a bourbon caramel sauce. It went home with us.
An abbreviated wine list shows depth and variety, with a nice selection by the glass. When you visit (as you should) just keep in the mind the portions are oversized. LC and I ordered enough for six and left in a food coma.
1745 Peachtree Street NE 404-724-9100