WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE
What goes with Rue de Jean’s famous steamed mussels and the perfectly sweetened crème brulee French toast from Fat Hen? Olives, apparently. Once again Fred Neuville is showcasing his restaurateur chops with the opening of Wild Olive on John’s Island.
The new spot, opening Tuesday, hosted a “dry run” preview dinner last weekend where special “I know someone important” guests were taken through the rustic-chic décor to experience a cozy, relaxed vibe that Wild Olive hopes to convey.
Besides the importance of a big name chef, good ambiance and décor, there is another critical component to opening a Charleston-worthy restaurant. And that of course, is the food.
A standout of the evening was the bruschetta, interestingly enough. In a surprising twist to the traditional toasted bread with chopped tomatoes and basil, this is more of a “build your own” bruschetta, with toppings such as a lusty marinara, hazelnut pate and a generous slice of prosciutto. For a real manly man’s dish, get the veal chop stuffed with sausage and pecorino, accompanied by braised Swiss chard and creamy delicious mashed potatoes. This will cause any meat-eating man to descend upon his plate like a turkey vulture and vow to continue ordering it every time he returns. For dessert, the light-as-a-cloud tiramisu is refreshing after such a meal.
Not to be overlooked is the restaurant’s use of local ingredients, which ranges from 75% local usage in the winter to 95% local usage in the summer. Everything celebrates local – from the area farmers and seafood purveyors it uses down to the pictures hanging on the walls. The Monterssori School of John’s Island even keeps a garden for the restaurant, those sweet things.
Seeing how wildly popular Fat Hen has become, we hope to see good things from this newcomer. Take your appetite and discriminating palate to Wild Olive and let CHARLIE know what you think.
Story by Cindy Roemer