Omnivore - What gives with Fig Jam?

Baroni’s replacement not-so-hot


I lunched today with friends at the new Fig Jam Kitchen & Bar in the Brookwood Station area. It’s a second attempt there by the people who own Baraonda, a popular Midtown pizzeria. Their earlier attempt, Baroni, didn’t last a year.

I’m not clear why they decided to make the change. The apparent manager told me today that the emphasis at Fig Jam is on “American food with global influences,” while Baroni was all about casual Italian dining. Fine, but I saw very little, if any “global influence” that wasn’t Italian.

The emphasis at night is on plates for sharing. Lunch is mainly the usual salads and sandwiches with some flat breads and a few pasta dishes. I ordered the flat bread (pictured here) with pork sausage, tomatoes, white cheddar and caramelized onions. I wish I could say it was better than average, but it was a true yawner whose flavor was almost entirely dependent on the onions.

Two others at the table ordered the lamb burger with goat cheese. They were similarly unimpressed and a bit annoyed that the meat was cooked beyond the medium-rare they ordered. A fourth at our table talked our terrific waiter into letting him order plates of cheese and cured meats from the dinner menu, along with the day’s tomato-basil soup. He was satisfied.

This meh-ness is inexplicable, considering how enjoyable most of the food at Baroanda is, although I admittedly haven’t been there in some time. But I can say one thing unequivocally: Fig Jam, like Baroni, is superior to the space’s original tenant, Wolfgang Puck Express.