Being half Italian (I know I don’t look it, but trust me, it’s there), I am pretty particular when it comes to Italian food, so despite having heard great things about Le Farfalle when it first opened, I was still skeptical. However, after having eaten there more times than I care to admit now, I can happily say that Le Farfalle is definitely one of the best Italian restaurants in Charleston.
Let’s start with the appetizers. All the apps I’ve had have been delicious. My favorite is probably the Ceci in Umido (Umbrian-style stewed chickpeas, preserved lemon, Aleppo Pepper, baguette, $9), which is essentially like an Italian hummus. The olive oil (which is amazing on its own, btw) mixed with the chickpea spread is light and bright and savory with just a little bit of bite from the Aleppo pepper. I order it pretty much every time I go.
I also love the Whipped Ricotta (Honey, Black pepper, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Baguette, $10)… even typing that sentence makes my mouth water. It’s super creamy with just a little sweetness from the honey to balance out the creamy saltiness of the ricotta. It’s so light and refreshing, you forget you’re basically just eating straight cheese.
Also, if you love bread, you absolutely cannot miss the Warm Rosemary Focaccia ($6). If I baked bread, this is the only bread I’d ever bake. Plus it comes with their red sauce, their awesome olive oil, and the whipped ricotta I was bragging about earlier (sans honey).
Also if you’re there during happy hour (or apertivo hour, as they call it), I really enjoyed the Fried Mozzarella Sticks ($5), which are simple and just like you remembered them as a kid, but better. I think it’s because their marinara sauce is so much better than what you find elsewhere. Either way, it’s delicious.
For entrees, I’m absolutely in love with all of their pastas. I tend to opt for the Fusilli Lunghi (black pepper, pecorino romano, $15), which is their version of cacio e pepe. It’s really buttery and cheesy, and a definite crowd pleaser.
I was also a big fan of the Fried Chicken Piccata (mustard greens, potato puree, lemon-caper sauce, $24), which is battered instead of breaded, so it comes out looking like fish & chips. It threw me a bit when we ordered it, and I usually don’t care for battered foods, but this dish was actually delicious! The batter was still light enough that it didn’t overpower the chicken, and the lemon-caper sauce is the perfect balance of tart and creamy. The potato puree and mustard greens really weren’t anything special, but the chicken was good enough that I was able to overlook that.
For dessert, I really love their Olive Oil Cake (Olive Oil-Basil Gelato, Candied Almonds, Macerated Blackberries, $8), which sounds weird but isn’t. It’s kind of like a less sweet pound cake with creamy gelato and delicious berries. I like that it isn’t too sweet (most of the sweetness comes from the berries, actually), which was a nice way to end the meal.
If you’re thirsty, like I usually am when I go out, I recommend the Swizzle Negroni (Plantation 3 Star Rum, Carpano Bianco, Coconut-Washed Galliano L’Aperitivo, Pineapple, Lime, $11), which tastes like summertime in a glass. It’s very tropical and ice cold (literally overflowing with ice), and if you close your eyes when you drink it, you can pretend you’re in the Caribbean.
All in all, if you like Italian food, you should definitely consider giving Le Farfalle a try!
15 Beaufain Street
Charleston, SC 29401