“FIG” is an acronym for Food Is Good; and when you eat in this restaurant, you cannot help but agree. It’s fancier and more expensive than typical Roadfood — expect to spend at least $50 per person, not including drinks — but if you are looking for a memorable Charleston dinner that is polite but not too swanky, you can’t go wrong eating here.
It is a corner storefront on Meeting street with a long bar up front that you pass to get into the dining room. Accommodations are spacious at white-clothed tables topped with white butcher paper; walls are decorated with large, amusing paintings of food; and the staff is friendly and efficient.
The menu is stylish, but with a well-anchored Southern flair. Meals begin with slices of fresh, yeasty bread and sweet butter; how good it is to then fork into a warm salad of local shrimp, pancetta ham, and radicchio! Other compelling appetizer choices include a selection of artisinal cheeses and a plate of Serrano ham with olives, fennel and spiced almonds.
Shrimp also is available as an entree, plated with chorizo in tomato-anise broth; and the rice-flour-dusted flounder with brown butter and capers is an only-in-the-Lowcountry meal. For meat eaters, there is exemplary hanger steak, slow-roasted pork shank, or herb-crusted rack of lamb. Vegetables are served family style, and they are wonderful — especially ham-laced butter beans, roasted beets with sherry vinegar, and sea-salted fingerling potatoes. One of the most interesting aspects of the FIG menu is its inclusion of old-fashioned gourmet treats such as steak tartare, coq au vin, and roast suckling pig.
You will pass the dessert table as you walk into the dining room from the bar. It is beautiful, and the ones we have tried are utterly satisfying — in particular, the banana tarte tatin and the blueberry tarte.