The Best I Ever Had in South Carolina: Darius Rucker

By:Bob Gillespie


WHO – Darius Rucker, one-time lead singer for Hootie & the Blowfish, is a Grammy Award-winning country-music singer. In October 2017, the Charleston native and University of South Carolina graduate released his fifth country album, “When Was The Last Time,” which included his eighth No. 1 single, “If I Told You.”

HIS FAVORITE SC DISH – “The best thing I ever had in South Carolina is the gnocchi and lamb Bolognese from FIG in Charleston.”

WHAT MAKES IT SPECIAL – “It’s like eating clouds. I’ve been going to FIG for years, and I go there now just to get that. It’s so amazing, the best thing I ever put in my mouth. I take people there or send people there and tell them, ‘You’ve got to get that.’ And everyone (afterward) says, ‘You were right.' It’s absolutely amazing.”

WHAT THE CHEF SAYS – Mike Lata: “It’s a traditional Bolognese recipe. We got whole lamb and broke it down into chips, loin, and still had a bunch of trim. We wanted to use the whole animal, so we said, ‘Let’s make a lamb Bolognese, and make a gnocchi that’s the lightest you can imagine.' We make the gnocchi from ricotta cheese, not pasta, because it’s the lightest of those. There’s a secret to it I can’t divulge, but the result is light and fluffy. The Bolognese has a nice flavor, but that secret move we make allows it to be so fluffy. It’s been on the menu for about 12 years, and while we make menu changes every day, that dish is one of very few that’s become almost sacred and continues to sell the most every night. We feel those dishes take on a personality of their own. It takes us hours to make the gnocchi, but it’s made a lot of people happy.”

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