2000s Archive

Bar Scene

Fig restaurant

Regional and endearingly simple (but far from simplistic) food at Fig.



It’s just not fair. With so much amazing produce available within a few miles of Healdsburg, there’s no way that bar manager Scott Beattie could make a bad drink. During citrus season, Beattie leaves notes in strangers’ mailboxes asking if he can pick fruit from, say, the 50-year-old Rangpur lime tree in their yard. And his garnishes have gotten even more spectacular ever since he bought a food dehydrator late one night. The Lotus Potion is adorned with a lotus chip stained with beet juice, and his Bellini comes with a piece of dried white peach that has a spearmint leaf pressed into it. Best of all, he’s invented a fork-straw hybrid (made from surgical stainless steel), so you don’t have to struggle to get every delicious morsel from the bottom of the glass. 29 North St., Healdsburg, CA (707-433-3311)


Sometimes the barman delivers deviled eggs free when you order a cocktail. Sometimes he charges 50 cents. Gathered on the nearby sea islands, boiled until springy, creamed with mustard, and goosed with Sherry vinegar, they are an ideal introduction to chef-owner Mike Lata’s cooking at this wonderfully pared-down bistro. Regional (but not in a futz-with-the-shrimp-and-grits kind of way) and endearingly simple (but far from simplistic). Lata, a 30-something Massachusetts native, is redefining what it means to cook like a sandlapper, dishing up jumbo lump crabmeat and favas with spaghetti, and Carolina Gold rice pudding with cherries and walnuts. And no one is calling him on it. 232 Meeting St., Charleston, SC (843-805-5900)

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