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Worth the Drive: Wild Olive & The Obstinate Daughter

Worth the Drive: Wild Olive & The Obstinate Daughter
December 2014

Chef Jacques Larson’s two Italian-focused eateries, each approximately 10 miles from downtown, are worthy of crossing multiple bridges and enduring evening traffic. At his first venture, Wild Olive on John’s Island, the long, narrow parking lot across from the post office typically is so full that it looks like there won’t be room inside. Try anyway, if you’re ready for an Ital-Med-Southern night. Slow-cooked, tender-enough-to-cut-with-a-fork beef is a star here. Chubby short ribs, as dark as molasses and set on a risotto “cake” with creamy Fontina, are a go-to favorite. Or try the lamb sausage lasagne; butter-bean ravioli; or one perfectly braised, tomato-bathed meatball as a side—a singular comfort food explosion. 2867 Maybank Hwy., John’s Island; (843) 737-4177;

Going the opposite direction to Sullivan’s, The Obstinate Daughter is the beach blondie that debuted this year. The digs are island-ready with weathered wood and nautical vibes. Here, Larson and crew include plenty of local ingredients and even more seafood on the Mediterranean-Lowcountry menu. Think squid-ink pasta with clams and sweet local shrimp in the Frogmore chowder. And there’s a wood-fired oven full of pizzas that bubble and crackle with char on thin crusts. The gelato bar downstairs at BeardCats makes an easy after-lunch or dinner stop (pistachio deliciousness), before you wander to the beach or down Middle Street to continue the eve alfresco. 2063 Middle St., Sullivan’s Island; (843) 416-5020;

❋ Readers’ Choice: Wild Olive