I don’t know if it’s Figs or Fig’s. I just know that the word Prime is also part of the name of this splashy, contemporary new restaurant in Altamonte Springs.
The restaurant’s logo has a leaf — let’s assume it’s a fig leaf — where an apostrophe would be if the name is meant to be Fig’s. This would be a rare case of a fig leaf revealing something rather than obscuring. But in postings on its Facebook page the restaurant refers to itself as Figs Prime, indicating more than one fig is involved. So I’m confused.
You probably think this is all just a niggle, but it’s part of my job to pay attention to details. And if the people behind, um, FP paid more attention to that and other details, this could become a major player among restaurants in north Orlando.
The space itself is beautiful. Set inside a brass and glass multistory office building, the restaurant has modernistic touches with high ceilings, where starburst light fixtures softly illuminate, and dark-toned wood floors that complement the bare wood table tops. Along one of the windows is a banquet of couches that look comfy but are ultimately too low for the dining tables. (Another detail to attend.)
Despite the name — and here I’m referring to the Prime part — the menu, under the direction of executive chef Victor Gonzalez, isn’t too heavily steakhousey. In fact, it’s a little bit all over the map, with stops in Spain, Italy, France and, with one dish called Rebosado, the Philippines. There isn’t anything inherently wrong with that, though it’s difficult to pull off. And it makes it difficult for your guests to pinpoint what it is you specialize in. Besides the fruit of the ficus carica, of course.
Figs were liberally set about the plate in the Goat Cheese Croquette appetziers, which also featured a stack of fresh arugula that offered a spicy counterpoint to the creamy cheese within the golden crisped crust.
The Pan Seared Diver Scallop starter was presented more like an entree, with a platform of ploofy grits, grilled zucchini and a mango-dominated salsa over the nicely seared and tender-firm scallops.
My companion chose the Veal Scaloppine, the egg-washed and sauteed meat topped with prosciutto and sweet red peppers plus some melted fontina cheese. The meat was tender and the buttery wine sauce was a pleasant accompaniment.
I went the Prime route and had the Prime Sirloin, a nicely grilled steak that had the appearance of being cooked properly to the requested medium rare and had beautifully placed grill marks. But the texture was a bit odd, more soft than it was tender. I sprang for the three-dollar-extra sauce of Red Wine Gogonzola Demi Glace and found it too acidic.
And here’s another detail that I often notice when I dine: Both entrees had identical side dishes of mashed potatoes and broccoli-dominated vegetable medley. The one-side-fits-all is the easy way out for a kitchen that doesn’t want to put more thought into the appropriateness of each entree’s presentation.
The staff, like the restaurant, is new and still finding its way. But major kudos to the young woman at the host stand who anticipated the arrival of new guests and was there to open the door and welcome them — and open it again when they left. Such a nice thing.
Things like that can elevate the experience. Fig’s — or Figs — has the opportunity to become the premier dining venue for the Altamonte Springs/Longwood area — can you think of anyone else offering this kind of upscale-casual night out? They just need to pay attention to the details.
Fig’s Prime is at 1188 Commerce Park Drive, Altamonte Springs. The hours aren’t listed on the website (details, details!) so I’ll tell you that it is open for lunch Monday through Friday and for dinner daily. The phone number is 407-960-1300.