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8FFLFOE MOUNTAIN VIEW VOICE ■ RESTAURANT REVIEW ■ MOVIE TIMES ■ BEST BETS FOR ENTERTAINMENT N R E S TA U R A N T R E V I E W ALMOST COOL DESPITE A CAPABLE KITCHEN, FIGO IS NOT QUITE THERE YET KATIE BRIGHAM Above: The Brussels sprout salad features crispy pancetta, caramelized onions and ricotta cheese. Below: Figo’s tiramisu is creamy and pudding-like. By Dale F. Bentson T here is a lot to like about Figo in downtown Palo Alto. The food is a cut above and the ambiance chic and inviting, with good libations and competitive prices. There is a disconnect, though: a variety of miscues I experienced on three of four visits, holding the restaurant back. Owner Gianni Ch i loi ro scrubbed his more casua l Pasta? concept and rechristened the restaurant in January (“Figo” roughly translates to “cool” as in to be cool), reconstituting, remodeling, redefining the space. New chairs, tables, contemporary lighting, and wood and art-glass partitions were added. An Italian brick oven capable of reaching 900 degrees was installed for pizza baking. The space was lightened up. The bar and dining rooms are still separate spaces but much more eloquently delineated. For lunch one day, I ordered the organic greens salad ($8) with cherry tomatoes and house vinaigrette. Someone in the kitchen must have mixed up proportions; there was so much vinegar my eyes teared and I choked on the first bite. The replacement salad was nearly devoid of dressing. Fortunately, the meal was saved with the excellent orecchiette with sausages ($14). The ear-shaped pasta evenly held the slightly piquant tomato sauce. Fresh parmesan was grated on table-side. The plating was artistic and appetizing. That day, I was drinking ice tea, and despite my having an empty glass for most of the meal, the only refill came after I paid the bill and was gathering my belongings to depart. Dinner appetizers were uniformly good. Brussels sprouts salad ($9) was a personal favorite. The sprouts had been sauteed with crispy pancetta, ricotta, mushrooms, caramelized onions and white balsamic vinegar. The mushrooms added little in flavor or texture, but overall it was an excellent starter. One evening, my companion ordered the sformato di gamberi ($11), a flan of shrimp, asparagus and mascarpone blanketed with a shellfish bisque. Unfor- KATIE BRIGHAM Above: Figo in downtown Palo Alto offers Italian fare, including pizza baked in a brick oven. Top: The sformato di patate is a flan of potatoes, zucchini and mascarpone cheese. Continued on next page May 17, 2013 ■ Mountain View Voice ■ ■ 21

Mountain View Voice 05.17.2013 - Section 2

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