Downtown isn’t the only place to find great Italian cuisine. Right off Maybank Highway sits Wild Olive, Chef Jacques Larson’s haven for exquisite Italian fare. A comfortable bar greets those looking for a casual bite but don’t let that relaxed atmosphere deceive you. Larson’s food is anything but. Incredible (and decadent) risotto fritters stuffed with sausage, spinach, Parmesan, and mozzarella are a great way to start. And always ask about the specials, of which there are plenty. A recent pappardelle included proscuitto, pork, and escarole and was possibly the best thing I’ve eaten all year. Larson is a firm believer in local and his conviction permeates everything on the plate. That’s probably why we keep coming back all these years later. We’ve never been disappointed. —Kinsey Gidick (Dish, Winter 2019)
The menu goes rustic with dishes as rich as venison osso bucco and roasted pheasant and as comforting as lasagna and spaghetti and meatballs.