High quality eats in the Lowcountry.
Originally Appeared on Condé Nast Traveler
Tell us about your first impressions when you arrived.
The sea breeze takes you up to the second floor, where it feels beachy inside, but without any hint of maritime kitsch. Bleached wood and pale blue seating are a calm backdrop for a bustling operation: the kitchen keeps the servers pivoting, bringing out trays from the raw bar, pizza from the wood-fired oven, and pasta and seafood dishes, too.
What was the crowd like?
The crowd is just that—a crowd—and they typically fill every seat, night after night, especially during the summer months. There are families, big parties, and couples speaking into each others' ears at the bar, and everyone seems very into seafood and sharing some dishes. It's lively, but there's enough room between the tables for diners to settle in for multiple courses.
What should we be drinking?
Seafood begs for an Italian sparkling white, which the place has in abundance. There's also a good selection of red wines, and the signature cocktails are light and beachy with gin, tequila, and rum all receiving the star treatment. But the biggest beverage treat of all might be the South Carolina beer selection, that runs 17 varieties deep.
Main event: the food. Give us the lowdown—especially what not to miss.
Since this is the sister restaurant to Wild Olive on Johns Island, it makes sense that it has an Italian inflection too, though interpreted through a coastal lens. The menu has a ton worth trying, so consider sharing plates instead of hogging your own, and convince the group to go for any housemade pasta (especially the seasonal Pappardelle), plus a pizza, and the Mepkin Abbey Mushrooms. That last one, a kale, mushroom, and egg plate, is one of the most popular dishes on the menu.
And how did the front-of-house folks treat you?
The kitchen is filled with people working hard to churn out items in a timely fashion, and the wait staff rises to the challenge to get food to the table fast. The servers are knowledgeable and relaxed, and can help guide you through a multi-course event even before the sun goes down.
What’s the real-real on why we’re coming here?
If you're on Sullivan's island, then OD (as it's affectionately called by locals) should be a first choice. Locals also make the trek to the island for birthdays, impress-the-friends-from-out-of-town nights, and an anytime exceptional brunch.