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Chic Fig & Olive comes to O.C., Fashion Island

Fashion Island is quickly becoming the center for shopping, dining and entertainment in Newport Beach, Calif., and today continues its renaissance with exciting news that further solidifies the area as the downtown of Newport Beach. FIG & OLIVE and the Irvine Company today announced a lease agreement that brings FIG & OLIVE to Fashion Island. With restaurants in New York and West Hollywood, FIG & OLIVE’s presence in Orange County will be exclusive to Fashion Island.

Scheduled to open in 2013, executive chef Pascal Lorange — who began his training at a young age with three-star Michelin Chef Georges Blanc in Vonnas, France — will introduce a menu of refined elegance with classic flavors and the highest quality of ingredients inspired by the Riviera and coastal regions of the Mediterranean. FIG & OLIVE is about passion for the best olive oils, with cuisine based on genuine ingredients and a respect for flavors. Fresh, warm and authentic, the interiors embody the ambiance of the Riviera and coastal regions of the South of France, Italy and Spain — olive branches, pots of fresh herbs, and simple cooking have been its formula since the beginning.

Small plates — perfect for sharing at the long white marble communal table and tasting bar — will range from Zucchini Carpaccio, a Fig Gorgonzola Tartlet, and Crostinis, to imported charcuterie, cheese, olives, and marinated vegetables. Main courses will include signature dishes such as Seared Sea Scallop with Truffle Artichoke Tapenade; Grilled Branzino glazed with fig balsamic vinegar, served with figs and snow peas, finished with a sweet Picholine Olive Oil; and Porcini & Gorgonzola Jamon Iberico Ravioli with Porcini Olive Oil. And, the exceptional wine list at FIG & OLIVE includes over 30 varietals from the South of France, Italy and Spain that are offered by the glass or bottle along with a selection of champagne.

“At FIG & OLIVE, I want to highlight our menu’s core ingredient of olive oil, which we use in place of butter in our dishes. Our cuisine, along with an elegant white, green and terra-cotta décor immerse our guests into the essence of the French town of Mougins in which I grew up,” says FIG & OLIVE Founder, Laurent Halasz. “I believe Fashion Island’s premier coastal location and Mediterranean climate in the heart of Newport Beach, together with its commitment to bringing its sophisticated yet relaxed clientele a variety of unique culinary experiences, will be a natural fit for my restaurant.”

Fashion Island will be FIG & OLIVE’s sixth location nationwide. The industrially chic French Riviera-inspired eatery boasts five big-city locations, including three restaurants in New York City’s trendiest neighborhoods — the Meatpacking District, Uptown, and Fifth Avenue — one location in Westchester, N.Y., and a sophisticated West Coast flagship location situated on Melrose Place, which opened in March 2011. The wildly popular NYC and West Hollywood locations have attracted high-profile guests including President Obama, Heidi Klum, Reese Witherspoon, Mila Kunis, Leonardo DiCaprio, Bruce Springsteen, Johnny Depp, John Krasinski, and David Beckham to name a select few.

FIG & OLIVE will be located on the South side of the Center in a new standalone structure. FIG & OLIVE’s elegant and warm design, with limestone stucco walls, terra-cotta ceiling, and green rosemary and olive trees will exude the essence of the French Riviera and compliment Fashion Island’s, and nearby world-famous Pelican Hill Resort’s, fresh Mediterranean look.

“FIG & OLIVE’s crisp and unique menu and ambiance will continue to transform Fashion Island as a premier destination for unique culinary experiences,” said Dan Sheridan, President of Irvine Company Retail Properties.

Fashion Island Celebrates 45-Year Anniversary

Opening in 1967, Fashion Island originally featured four department stores: Buffum’s, J. W. Robinson’s, The Broadway and J.C. Penney. Over the past 45 years, Fashion Island has been transformed to meet the changing needs of nearby residents and visitors alike and has become one of the most unique, open-air shopping and dining destinations in the country.

Fashion Island celebrates its 45-year anniversary adding 22,000 square feet of retail space, with many new stores and new restaurants coming to the Center over the next 18 months. More than 40 new stores and restaurants have opened at Fashion Island since early 2010, including the first ever Ella Moss store, the largest Orange County Apple Store, the first West Coast Vineyard Vines store, the only store beyond Los Angeles for trendy boutique Kitson, Great Maple restaurant and, coming this summer, the first West Coast store by C. Wonder, the revolutionary lifestyle brand that debuted in New York in October 2011.

“Fashion Island has seen increased leasing momentum over the past 18 months as demonstrated by the significant number of brand-name tenants that have chosen Fashion Island as their exclusive Southern California location,” said Sheridan. “The additional square footage will allow us to meet the increasing demand from new tenants.”

The new stores and restaurants follow other exciting developments at Fashion Island. Whole Foods Market is on schedule to open at Fashion Island in fall 2012. With construction well underway, a first look at renderings was released today. The organic and natural grocer will occupy approximately 32,000 square feet of retail space, bringing a pleasantly atypical grocery shopping experience to Fashion Island.

Over the past several years, Fashion Island’s buildings and outdoor spaces have been transformed with dramatic new architecture and common area amenities, new landscape and water fountains and expanded parking and retail space. As part of the ongoing reinvestment, the exterior of Bloomingdales will be refurbished beginning in 2012. The store will remain open during construction.

Additionally, the all-new, state-of-the-art theater complex, Island Cinema, opened at Fashion Island in December 2011, bringing a premier movie-going experience to the heart of Newport Beach. The seven-screen theater complex was created with a spacious lobby and a classic look that reflects Fashion Island’s Italianate architecture. The theater complex’s auditoriums feature stadium seating, oversized comfortable seats and extra-wide arm rests, wider aisles and generous legroom. Island Cinema offers unique dining options including artisan sandwiches, quiches, vegetarian spring rolls, pastries and more. Specialty coffee, premium beer, champagne and wine are also served. Reserved seating is available at the theater and online.

Other new stores and restaurants that have opened since early 2010, including many West Coast premiers and Orange County exclusives, include:

• Nordstrom
• True Food Kitchen
• Drybar
• Native Foods
• Brandy Melville
• Hana Grill
• Carrol Boyes
• Newport Colony Co.
• Stone Oven
• 5 Guys Burgers & Fries
• Vince
• Trina Turk
• Elie Tahari
• Great Maple
• Sperry Top-Sider
• Francesca’s Collections
• Quiksilver Waterman
• Athleta
• Earnest Sewn
• Roberto Coin
• Traditional Jewelers
• Le Pain Quotidien
• Uno de 50
• Casey’s Cupcakes
• Rebecca Taylor
• Tesla
• Lush

About the Irvine Company
Founded in 1864, the Irvine Company is an internationally renowned real estate development company known for its award-winning master-planned communities, its vast portfolio of high-quality investment properties, and its leadership in conservation and natural resource management. The growing real estate portfolio encompasses office, apartment, retail and resort holdings located throughout California’s premier markets, including assets in San Diego, Orange and Los Angeles counties, and holdings in Northern California. As a steward of some of America’s most beautiful and scientifically important open space and parklands, the company has donated to Orange County more than half of the historic 93,000-acre Irvine Ranch in Orange County—50,000 acres—to permanently preserve these lands. The U.S. Department of Interior and the State of California have designated these parklands as “Natural Landmarks,” one of the most prestigious land preservation designations. The privately held, diversified company traces its roots to the 1860s with the formation of The Irvine Ranch® from Mexican and Spanish land grants.

About FIG & OLIVE
In 2013, the acclaimed New York-based FIG & OLIVE — with locations in New York and a flagship Southern California location along Melrose Place in West Hollywood — will extend its olive branch to Orange County with a second West Coast location arriving at Newport Beach’s Fashion Island. The expansive space will be located on the South side of the Center in a new standalone structure. Accommodating up to 300 guests, diners will be introduced to the refined flavors of the French Riviera and coastal regions of the Mediterranean by Executive Chef Pascal Lorange. At FIG & OLIVE, patrons will partake in a unique dining experience based on the restaurant’s focal component: olive oil. Guests will also enjoy a diverse selection of wines from the South of France, Spain, and Italy, alongside a selection of fresh, handmade cocktails. In addition, FIG & OLIVE will offer a large collection of extra virgin olive oils for purchase, which diners can take home after sampling at the restaurant. For more information on the restaurant, as well as special dinners and events, please visit www.figandolive.com

PR Contact for FIG & OLIVE: Meghan Patke/Wagstaff Worldwide Inc.
Meghan@wagstaffworldwide.com
323.871.1151.

Erin Freeman – 949-720-2587