March 09, 2011
232 Meeting St. (Downtown)
Dinner, Closed Sun.
James Beard Award-winning chef Mike Lata helms this acclaimed neighborhood bistro, crafting a daily menu that is based on fresh, local food.
Ask a serious diner in this town what they’re favorite restaurant is, and FIG is nearly always No. 1. Chef Mike Lata and partner Adam Nemirow have had the same philosophy over the years — an intense commitment to high quality and experience — and have surrounded themselves with a staff that’s as serious about that philosophy as they are. While the two owners have established the Ordinary as Charleston’s premier seafood destination, Jason Stanhope has taken over as FIG executive chef, meeting the extraordinarily high expectations that have been set for him and regularly exceeding them. His skill and finesse shine through in bright flavors and beautiful dishes. He has deservedly won Lata’s trust as well as the diners’. The front of the house affably keeps the busy dining room running smoothly (and by busy, we’re talking about hour waits for a seat at the bar on a Monday night). Of course, the professionalism is nothing without the mind-blowing food. The colder months bring lots of freshly caught seafood that is pan-roasted and served with oxtail bouguignon or sauteed and paired with Carolina Gold rice grits or dusted with corn flour and plated with yukon puree and piquillo pepper picatta. The fish stew will warm your soul, and the hearty ricotta gnocchi will make you swoon. Just thinking about it makes us want to brave the wait for a seat at the bar. —Stephanie Barna Dish (Summer 2014)
Jeff Allen1 says... Shouldn't winning a James Beard Award get you to the top of the review list? ★★★★★
katiek11 says... Fig is fantastic! Their cheese plates are always eclectic and excellent and I have yet to be pointed in the wrong direction concerning wine selection. My favorite thing to do is order a few different apps. and nibble on them with my boyfriend while relaxing and enjoying the atmosphere. ★★★★★
JordanEnzor says... FIG is fantastic. To reply to two posts below: I understand that there are bad service nights, and scales on a fish are certainly a bad thing, but my wife and I have never had a bad food experience at FIG. Keep in mind that the feedback of a vegetarian, in a non-vegetarian focused venue, will need to be taken with a big coarse grain of salt. What should be expected when a person bases their review completely off side dishes, and excludes some of the best offerings? And of course, a steak is a steak is a steak. My tried and true dishes have been the beef short ribs, sweet breads, trigger fish, and fish stew en cocotte. The sweet breads are slap your mother good, and my wife dreams about the trigger fish. For apps, I’ve found near godly experience with the chicken liver pate, frisee salad (lardons and poached egg), beef tartare, and terrine. For wines we leave ourselves to the pairings of the wait staff, and have enjoyed wonderful pinots and gewürztraminers. Overlook the posts of those few naysayers. FIG is restaurant perfection, and this experienced eater has had to look mighty hard to find something that comes close. ★★★★★
What's not to love about FIG these days? The food, the cocktails, the energy are all top-notch. Chef Mike Lata strutted his stuff on Iron Chef America in the fall, surely attracting a whole new legion of fans to his downtown eatery. And he and partner Adam Nemirow continue to pack them in night after night for seasonal, modern, mind-blowing food.