Fig Tree reigns supreme in fine dining. Their Elk Chop is legit.

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Universally agreed to be a top five Charlotte restaurant, Fig Tree continues to set the standard when it comes to fine dining in our city.

Six years ago, I chose Fig Tree on the evening I asked my wife to marry me.

Last week, I chose Fig Tree on the evening that my wife and I were celebrating one last date before our life spins out of control with a second child (she’s due in one week).

Located in Elizabeth, you’ll find Fig Tree inside a Craftsman-style bungalow built in 1913.

There are a total of five dining rooms inside of the house as well as a veranda, full-service bar and patio.

outside-fig-tree-charlotte-restaurant

Fig Tree’s name comes from the Brown Turkey fig trees located on the property.

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Next time, I would have grabbed a drink at the intimate Fig Tree bar before dinner – but, I didn’t see a cocktail menu and they don’t have beers on draft.

My wife and I ate in an upstairs room with three other tables. We loved the grand fireplace and the fact that we didn’t feel on top of the other tables. I wish the music would have been slightly louder (which I never say about any other Charlotte restaurant other than McNinch House), but it wasn’t a huge deal.

Service at Fig Tree performs like a great referee – the team does such a perfect job that you don’t notice it. Our service was flawless. When we asked our waiter for recommendations, he delivered.

Fig Tree has the best service I’ve experienced at any Charlotte restaurant (The Gallery at Ballantyne Hotel is #2).

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Our server had a 6″ silver bread crumber that she brought out in between courses because I kept spilling stuff on the table like a five year old. 

The menu at Fig Tree

The size of the menu felt just right — 9 appetizer options and 10 entree options. Entrees included Sea Bass with Lobster ($42), Grouper ($36), Salmon ($31), Scallops ($36), Ostrich ($39), Elk Chop ($42), Filet Mignon ($40), Veal ($37), Lamb ($35) and Pappardelle ($25).

I feel like a loser telling you about the bread, but damn the bread was good — warm focaccia bread with garlic puree.

bread-at-fig-tree-charlote-restaurant

The garlic puree is strong, so make sure to dip in olive oil and use the spread to compliment the taste.

For an appetizer, we went with the Stuffed Calamari ($14) — chorizo stuffed calamari with eggplant agrodolce and roasted red bell pepper purée. Outstanding.

calamari-at-fig-tree-restaurant-in-charlotte

Other appetizers that caught our eye were: the Beet Carpaccio ($10), Escargots ($10) and Veal Carpaccio ($13).

The house mixed green salad is included with your main course (which I appreciate), but you can upgrade to a Caesar, spinach or soup for an additional $3.

salads-at-fig-tree-restaurant-in-charlotte

Your waiter will do cracked pepper and graded parmesan table side.

The house salad is solid, but I recommend the $3 upgrade to the Baby Spinach Salad with hard boiled quail egg, warm bacon, goat cheese, pine nuts and maple vinaigrette.

baby-spinach-salad-at-fig-tree-restaurant-charlotte

Quail eggs, so hot right now.

If you’re a meat person, you’ve got to order the Fig Tree’s famous Elk Chop ($42) — grilled New Zealand Elk Chop over horseradish spaetzle with smoked bacon-braised purple cabbage and boursin-dijon sauce.

elk-chop-at-fig-tree-charlotte

Elk Chop is the right order, but I almost went with the Ostrich ($39) because it’s weird.

My wife went with the Filet Mignon ($40) — grilled filet mignon with red pearl onions, oyster mushrooms, asparagus and stilton polenta cake in sherry-garlic pan sauce.

filet-at-fig-tree-charlotte-restaurant

And you must finish the meal with Fig Tree’s beignets ($9).

beignets-charlotte-fig-tree-dessert

These four donuts went down fast, especially with the coffee ice cream.

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Ted Williams
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Publisher, golfer, dad and magician (seriously).