So, I’ve mentioned before that Wild Olive is my mom’s favorite restaurant in Charleston (and possibly all of South Carolina), but I’ve never actually taken the time to write it up before. Since I had the pleasure of dining there a couple weeks back, I made sure to take lots of photos to put on this blog. Looking back at the photos, the’yre pretty terrible (low light + cell phone camera = crappy pictures), so I’ll just have to woo you over with my words (and pictures I find on Google). Here’s an interior shot I took before the sun set.
I’ve been with my mom a couple of times. She absolutely loves the “marinated warm olives,” so we always end up ordering those.
I love the “house cured salumi with mozzarella, caponata, chicken liver rustica crostini” appetizer because it is delicious. I know a lot of people see “chicken liver” and get grossed out, but trust me. It is so freaking good. I also love the fresh mozzarella, but let’s face it, I am a sucker for fresh mozzarella. Plus, salami/salumi is delicious, and they give you a bunch of different kinds of salami on a platter, so how can you go wrong with that?
I also really love the arancini balls there, or as they’re listed on the menu, “suppli al telefono risotto fritters stuffed with sausage, spinach, parmesan, mozzarella.” So delicious. They’re not big like the ones they make in Boston, but they’re still really yummy. When you bite/cut into them they’re hot, cheesy, and really delicious.
The most recent time I went with my new friend Regina, we started with the beef carpaccio (beef carpaccio with parmesan, horseradish aioli, melba toast, arugula, Sicilian sea salt). It’s basically like a beef salami and I really loved it. I think the sea salt and horseradish aioli added a nice element to the dish as a whole. The consistency kind of threw me off a little bit, because it’s very soft. I’m glad they gave me the crostini to balance it out.
We also got the bruschetta which is different than normal bruschetta as it came topped with rapini, purple cape beans, chile flake, garlic, and pecorino sardo. I think they change it out seasonally, because I’ve seen different pictures online. It was kind of weird eating bread with beans on it, but I think I really liked it. They did a really good job of balancing the flavors of each ingredient.
I usually try to be adventurous, so I was intrigued by the “squid ink linguine with local shrimp, tomato, garlic, fresh spicy red chile, basil.” However, I’m not crazy about shrimp pasta, but I really wanted to be able to say that I’ve had squid ink pasta before. I asked the waiter how it was and he said “It’s good, but it basically tastes like seafood pasta. If you don’t like fishy tasting food, don’t get it.” So. Instead I was lame and basic and opted for the chicken parmesan. I know, I know. But it’s SO GOOD. It comes with “potato alfredo, marinara, mozzarella, arugula,” and it is SO good.
Last time we went, my mom got the “Grilled Stevenson Place Farms grass-fed steak with smashed fried and truffled Yukon gold potatoes,” but she doesn’t love truffle oil, so instead she replaced the potatoes with an order of potato gnocchi in marinara sauce. As I recall, she loved it.
Regina and I also got dessert, because apparently she considers herself something of a tiramisu connoisseur. Luckily for me, she was nice enough to share it with me, and let me say. Wow. That tiramisu is damn good.
I’ve always had a really positive experience every time I’ve gone to Wild Olive. From the food, to the ambience, to the service, to the wine, it’s always a good time. It’s definitely worth driving out to John’s Island!
2867 Maybank Highway
John’s Island S.C. 29455