The Dancing Fig was located on High Street (formerly Wesbanco turned Lira turned The Dancing Fig turned The Bank at 344), and now it is on University Avenue (in former Zenclay Cafe location).
They're billed as Italian fusion, and I went during their grand opening. Later in the night, they were having a prohibition-themed party. We went early on, though, to get a taste of the regular menu. Parking is free here, but a bit precarious. At least they have a lot - one right near the building and the other across University Avenue. It's not bad, though.
Their hours are 7 a.m.-2 p.m. and 4:30-10 p.m. Wednesday through Friday; 4:30-11 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for brunch on Sunday. Closed Monday and Tuesday. So make sure you check the hours before you head out.
We were there early that evening and were seated at a high top. The space is fairly small, so I imagine it can get full pretty quickly. Because we were there early, it was mostly empty. As we went through the course of the meal, the restaurant did begin to fill up a bit.
The interior is lovely, laidback and cool - yet elegant. They have a focus on the drinks, as well, though I didn't indulge this night.
Our server was fantastic and super helpful. We put in two appetizers: the pork belly with roasted grapes, bleu cheese and arugula salad AND brie cheese purses with puff pasty, brie cheese and fig preserve.
The pork belly was awesome. Nice sear and crisp on the outside and tender inside. One thousand times better than bacon. The sweetness of roasted grapes and crunch of arugula was perfect. Plus there was like this balsamic and pesto - some acid and sweet and an awesome combo of textures.
The brie cheese purses seemed more of a puff pastry with caramel sauce and the preserves. I tasted little (if any) brie cheese. That's not to say these weren't good. They were very good, but they were like a dessert and sans the cheese flavor. Still, though, a tasty puff pastry with delicious caramel and preserves. Good.
With my entree, I got a house salad, which had greens, tomato, red onion, bleu cheese and a basil balsamic dressing. I'm a big fan of their house salad because it packs some flavor. Love their house dressing and fresh ingredients.
I also just want to make note of the pace of the meal at this point. Each was brought out at perfect timing - some breathing room between plates, and really gave us a nice experience.
They have some new menu items as well as the older ones. Okay, main entree was chicken marsala, at the recommendation of the server, which is Italian-breaded chicken, wild mushrooms, marsala wine and demi glace with zucchini and mashed potatoes. I don't typically order chicken at new places, but this has changed my world. It was a huge portion, first of all. And it was so well-thought out. Different components combined to make a truly well-rounded dish with a nice roasted veggie and smooth mashed potatoes with a nicely breaded chicken. Plus a delicious marsala sauce that I need on all my mushrooms for the rest of time.
Our whole meal was so delicious, so we went for dessert. Tiramisu took a little longer than I expected, but it was worth it. A huge portion just drowning in whipped cream and cocoa powder. So good.
The Dancing Fig nailed this meal. Like, I can't wait to go back. Like, is up there in my top restaurants right now because between the vibe I got from this place, combined with the awesome service, unique drinks and just delicious food, I'm not really sure what more you can ask for. Plus large portions for a more upscale place.
I feel as thought they've gotten more into their groove here, dishing out incredible food in an even better environment. I hope they're a mainstay for years to come.