I'd heard about the Wild Olive a few weeks ago and was delighted to hear about another Italian restaurant on my side of the Charleston area. Sunday I went to check it out for the first time with a few people from one of the Meetup groups.
Although the decor was nice, my first Wild Olive experience was somewhat underwhelming. I opted for the Sunday spaghetti and meatball dinner special ($15), which includes salad and garlic bread. The salad with balsamic dressing was pretty good. Nice cool, crisp greens. The spaghetti on the other hand was kind of disappointing. The spaghetti was more like angel hair pasta (pretty thin) and came out rather overdone. The sauce and meatballs were still quite good though.
Not wanting to pronounce judgment after just one visit, I went back tonight for dinner to try something else on the menu.
This time the experience was much better and a 180° change from a couple of days ago. I opted for one of the specials of the night: the Legare farms porterhouse steak with gorgonzola mashed potatoes and wilted swiss chard. On the pricey side, but totally worth it. It was big enough that I could probably get 2 more meals out of it. The steak was probably one of the best I've ever had here. Preparation was very simple: salt, pepper, grill. Cooked to medium, the steak was very tender, and just plain delicious.
I was initially a little skeptical about the gorgonzola mashed potatoes, and not being a fan of blue cheeses, I wasn't expecting to like it much. Again, I was delightfully surprised. Smooth and creamy, the potatoes had enough gorgonzola to make it yummy, but not overpowering. I could have easily made a meal out of a pile of those mashed potatoes.
At the end of my meal, I started thinking about if, given the choice, would I rather go to Oak or Wild Olive (Oak is one of my favourite meat places to go to in Charleston). Tough choice, but I think if Wild Olive had the Legare Farms steak as part of their regular menu, Wild Olive would definitely win.
Wild Olive is definitely worth the trip.
4 stars out of 5.
$$-$$$$ (can be a little spendy)