FIG has now been around long enough to qualify as a Charleston institution, but it is still wowing diners with its unwavering commitment to high quality food and a flawless dining experience. Chef Mike Lata and his partner Adam Nemirow have built a team that’s as serious about that philosophy as they are, including Executive Chef Jason Stanhope, whose skill and finesse shines through in bright flavors and beautiful dishes. Painstakingly perfected preparations are applied to the rotating ingredients of the day, so layers of Napa cabbage and black trumpet mushrooms might frame slow-baked beeliner snapper one day and sauteed red porgy the next. Some of the best dishes are almost spartan in their simplicity, like a crudite of local root vegetables accompanied by fromage blanc and sesame that let the pure flavor of the ingredients carry the plate. A handful of rich favorites like ricotta gnocchi with lamb bolognese, the warming fish stew in cocotte, and a delicate coddled egg with poached stone crab have become menu staples. The front of the house affably keeps the busy dining room running smoothly — and by busy, we mean hourlong waits just for a seat at the bar on a Monday night. That wait doesn’t seem likely to get shorter any time soon. —Robert Moss Dish, Summer 2016
James Beard Award-winning chef Mike Lata helms this acclaimed neighborhood bistro, crafting a daily menu that is based on fresh, local food.