Unlike a lot of chefs in town, FIG's Mike Lata doesn't delegate desserts. The James Beard award-winner has made a name for himself with simple yet exquisite dishes highlighting whatever's local and in-season, and his dessert menu follows the same formula. Make sure to leave room for this final, and most important course, or if you're just craving an indulgence, stop by for coffee and a treat. Averaging $7 a pop, you're sure to get some major bang for your buck.
Guests at the Lowcountry Field Feast at Keegan-Filion Farms in early October enjoyed an enthusiastic first taste of Lata's Sticky Sorghum Pudding. It's a riff on the classic English pub dessert, Sticky Toffee Pudding. The word "pudding" might be misleading for some American diners — the base is actually a moist date cake, which is traditionally topped with a sticky toffee concoction for this dish. For Lata's interpretation, a sorghum syrup, straight from Kentucky, is added to the glaze, giving it a rich molasses flavor. The cake is served with a house-made, creamy walnut-flavored ice cream, with chopped walnuts scattered around the base of the cake. Lata says the cozy dish has been a huge hit with diners, so you can expect to find it on the menu for the next few months.
Another seasonal option on FIG's menu is the Pear, Chocolate, and Hazelnut Tart with Mascarpone Cheese. This dish also defied our expectations a little bit, hitting the table looking more like a thick, dark slice of pie than the delicate tart we imagined. Lata went with a sweet dough for the crust, then filled it with equal parts chopped fresh pears, hazelnut frangipane (a common tart filling, though usually flavored with almonds), and rich, chocolatey ganache. The end result is a subtle combination of flavors, perfect for diners with a lower tolerance for sweets. The texture of the pears is more recognizable than the flavor, while the chocolate — though mild — is the dominant taste. And the dollop of mildly sweet mascarpone cheese on top lighttens the dish nicely — spread it around and have a little with every bite.
Don't wait too long to try these dishes at FIG — the menu is always changing and they might be gone before you know it. But if they are, you can rest assured they'll be replaced with something just as tasty.