In December, Mike Lata, chef and co-owner of FIG, traveled to New York and cooked a Lowcountry-style dinner at Aldea, the acclaimed restaurant of George Mendes, a first-generation Portugese-American who has been getting a ton of recognition for his cutting-edge Mediterranean food.

At his Flatiron District restaurant, Mendes makes things like arroz de pato, which Alan Richman describes in GQ as “a kind of paella but with duck cracklings, socarrat (pan scrapings), duck confit, chorizo, a scattering of olives, and rare duck breast.”

New York Magazine praises Mendes’ “spare, deceptively simple Spanish recipes, like crunchy pigs’ ears tossed with apples.”

And Charlestonians should thank their lucky stars, or at least thank Mike Lata, for bringing this guy to town in a few weeks for a special evening at FIG.

On March 28, Chef Mendes will be taking over Lata’s kitchen and preparing his own brand of fare. This evening begins with a cocktail hour at 6:30 p.m. for which Lata will prepare hors d’oeuvres. Then, at 7:30 p.m. guests will feast on Chef Mendes’ four-course, prix fixe, Portuguese-inspired dinner with wine pairings.

Seating is limited and reservations are required. For more information, call (843) 805-5900 or visit