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Review of The Fig Tree Restaurant in Charlotte, NC

Updated: May 13

Fig Tree Restaurant in Charlotte logo

Nestled in historic Elizabeth in a 1913 Craftsman-style home, known as the Lucas House, Fig

Tree Restaurant has been helping Charlotteans make special memories over wonderfully-prepared meals in a very special setting for over 18 years.

This historic landmark was named after its original owners, John Paul and Alice Craft Lucas. The restaurant’s name came from the four Brown Turkey fig trees located on the grounds. This type of fig tree is one of the most popular fig trees grown in the US. They are known for their medium-sized sweet fruit that ripens to a brown, reddish purple color.

The pre-WWI home exudes history, sitting across from Independence Park, which is one of the first public parks in Charlotte. It is minutes from Uptown on the corner of East 7th Street and Louise Avenue. The comfortable, yet elegant setting of the house, creates a truly unique dining experience that is found in almost no other restaurant in Charlotte. Boasting five stunning dining rooms, expansive seating on the veranda and patio, as well as multiple grand fireplaces and a full service bar, everything about the aesthetics of the restaurant — from the original woodwork to the blooming fig trees - will delight you. It is one of the most unique settings of any other restaurant in the city, with each of the 5 rooms creating a semi-private dining experience for guests. With over 4,000 OpenTable reviews (4.8) this Wine Spectator award-winning restaurant was also named by Charlotte Magazine to its 50 Best Restaurants list. The menu is full of French and Italian influences and is paired by one of the most extensive wine cellars in the city. The wine list is quite large with a particular emphasis on French wines, though there are plenty of other choices from various parts of the world.

Beth and I first dined at Fig Tree in 2005 shortly after the restaurant opened with one of my high school classmates and his wife. Candidly, it has been so long that we do not remember much other than the experience was very pleasant. On our return visit last month, we took our good friends, Paul and Melissa Korten who have now won the prize for the couple who have been in more of our Foodie Reviews than any other. For this particular evening, we were celebrating Beth and Melissa’s birthdays. I had made a reservation about a month in advance in the hopes of getting a table in one of the smaller rooms upstairs. And fortunately that worked. The room in which we were seated had only 4 tables with a beautiful fireplace at one end. We were promptly greeted by our server, Cody. Cody has been working at the restaurant for a long time and was very knowledgeable about the menu and wine list.

We started off by getting some prosecco and ordered 3 appetizers to give that part of the menu a good try. First we chose the Burrata with Eggplant Agrodolce, which came with a caper relish, pickled red onion, prosciutto and brioche toast. The second app was the Apple Beggar’s Purse with sautéed apples, onions, walnuts, and gorgonzola cheese in a pastry with thyme butter sauce. Beggars purse is essentially a small crepe which gets its name from a french crepe called aumônière which translates to alms purse meaning a purse used to give money to the needy. Restaurateurs, Barry and Susan Wine, who owned the Quilted Giraffe in Midtown Manhattan are sometimes credited with inventing the beggar's purse. But the delicate crepe actually originated in France. Our third appetizer was 6 oysters prepared three different ways and they were all delicious. The first two preparations were a crème fraîche with orange compote, crème franchise with horseradish & caviar. Unfortunately, I forgot to write down third preparation. But they were excellent. We paired the appetizers with a Cava which is a Spanish type of sparkling wine. Cody also brought us some warm fresh bread with a roasted garlic spread along with some olive oil. I LOVE roasted garlic (much to Beth’s chagrin), so this was one of my favorites.

For our entrees, Beth and Paul each ordered the Rosemary-Brown Butter Crusted Elk Chop with a parmesan polenta cake, bacon-braised brussel sprouts, and porcini mushrooms. This dish has been on the menu since the restaurant opened 18 years ago which says something about how popular it has been with their customers. Beth and Paul said that the elk cooked perfectly though a little salty (so it would have likely been perfect for me 😊). Melissa had the Sautéed Sea Bass over black truffle-yukon gold mashed potatoes with Maine lobster, prosciutto, sweet corn, and a tarragon beurre blanc. I had the Veal Chop which is something that I rarely order. This dish came with jumbo shrimp over smashed fingerling potatoes, cremini mushrooms, capers, asparagus and a sherry-garlic butter sauce. Melissa and I both thought that our dishes were excellent. Cody, who did a fabulous job, recommended a Sancerre to accompany the entrees which turned out to be an excellent choice.

The food was so excellent that I do not think we left any on our plates. And because of that, we decided not to order any desserts. One pro tip would be to make a reservation well in advance and request to be seated upstairs.

Would we go back? Absolutely. And we plan to go back very soon. Would you like to go with us free of charge? Just text me at 704-975-6799. We will pick one lucky person and their guest to join us this Spring for a fabulous dining experience at Fig Tree.

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