Best Italian in Charleston! Fulton 5 and Pane Y Vino are great, but family night on Monday is the best thing that's ever happened to me.
Amalfi's is like a hidden gem in Mt. Pleasant! It's in he back of the shopping center on longpoint. The owner is super friendly and his menu is actually authentic not a recreation. My family dined on a busy Monday night for kids night (kids ate free) and our service made us feel like we were in a five star restaurant! Brandon was really good. We will definately return!
Bacco is my go-to Italian restaurant in the Charleston area. I have been there many times and have never been disappointed by the food, drinks, or service. I tend to be very picky with Italian food, after living in Italy for a short time. Chef Michael is an expert at recreating and reinventing many of the traditional Italian dishes I love. I especially enjoy his ability to prepare perfect hand made pasta cooked Al dente, as it should be. His main courses are also quite amazing, and we look forward to creative specials like the seared lamb neck. While you are there, make sure you give the home made limoncello a try. I look forward to my next visit. Ciao!
Wow! On Saturday night we had one of the best meals we've ever had in Charleston at Al Di La.
Wow. Al di la is hands down the best Italian food in Charleston. Great food, atmosphere, and staff. Highly recommend the pork and lamb dishes while you are there paired with something from their wine menu. SO GOOD. This restaurant will definitely be a repeat visit on my next trip to Charleston.
My husband and I first went to Bacco a few months ago (after passing it numerous times and saying "we need to try that place!"). It was everything we had hoped for and more. The bread is magical - very crusty on the outside and soft on the inside. The half-carafe of red wine is tasty and reasonably priced. The fettuccini alfredo is full of flavor but not as heavy as others I've had/ But the star of the place for me is the PAPPARDELLE AL TELEFONO. So simple, yet so amazing. It's just pappardelle pasta with house-made mozzarella, tomato sauce, and basil, but it's probably the best tomato sauce I've ever had. It's a dish I dreamed about afterwards. We've now made it somewhat of a tradition to go for a date night on Friday night when we're in town. I can't say enough good things about this place! You absolutely have to try it!
Fulton Five is my favorite restaurant. The food is delicious, the staff is wonderful and the dining area is lovely.
We've been to Bella Napoli several times (for lunch). We've sampled their pizza, Sausage Roll, Spaghetti with Pomodoro sauce, Fettuccine Alfredo etc. The food is universally excellent with some of it being the best I've ever had (your kidding me if anyone finds their food 'microwaved').
My minor critique is that their pizzas are just a touch cheese heavy (and they'll reduce it if asked) and the before meal bread is 'meh'. Also, time for new carpet guys.
The service has been very good. Its so strange that our experience has been so different from some the reviews. Maybe a time of day thing? My advice, try it for yourself and make up your own mind.
Ate there last night for the first time, as I was kinda stuck on AlDiLa for my italian. Completely different vibe; very comfy country feel to the space as well as the menu. Start with the $19 bottle wine special, the Lucas & Lewellen Pinot Noir is a steal and was flying out to the tables. Grab the carpaccio, but split it, it's big. In fact, everything seemed big as I looked around. Certainly the veal scallopine and the Garganelli with braised pork ragu we ordered were big enough for the next day's lunch. I have to mention the staff. From greeting, (they obviously have regulars as shown by the hugs) to the table, (Michael was our waiter and very good at his job, you almost want him to sit down and join you.) But most impressive was the scanning of the room by everyone there. Every one of them look at everything as they go by, and whoever that guy in the kitchen whites was with his hands folded behind his back as he checked plates going out is scary good.
OK, here's the downside, felt a little too far away from my date at the two top. No star loss on that, next time I will try to hit one of those cushioned banquet booths!
Great food, great atmosphere, great service, worth every penny.
Thanks to Bocci's I am able to be lazy and not have to worry about cooking good Italian at home anymore. Now I can just go there for great Italian! My father is Italian and a bit of a foodie who prides himself on being able to distinguish great Italian from Fazoli's. He was thoroughly impressed with the tuscan duck, and I really enjoyed the grilled salmon. This quaint little place has a nice authentic atmosphere with a friendly waitstaff and a terrific selection of food to suit any taste. They are gluten and vegan friendly too!
I had been hearing about Lucca for a while so my expectations were high, and it definitely did not disappoint. My girlfriends and I went in last night for family night and it was AMAZING!! For our antipasti we got a mixture of items, one of which was the most delicious fried eggplant with a provolone fonduta. It was such a great way to start the meal. For our pasta we got their house made tagliolini with clams cooked in Italian white wine and oven roasted herb tomatoes. The entree was the best chicken I have ever had. Everything from the potatoes and caramelized onions it was over, to how perfectly the chicken was cooked, to the pickled red peppers on top was the best flavor combination ever. I never order chicken when I go out to dinner but I would order that again in a heartbeat. One of my friends is a pescatarian so when the entree came out they accommodated her by making her a parmesan crusted fish dish that was just as amazing as the chicken. The desert lived up to the rest of the meal as well. It was a Chocolate pudding. Now I know that does not sound exiting but the texture was like a really silky crem brule and it was topped with flaked sea salt and candied hazelnuts. Oh, and there was olive oil on top of it too! Might be the best desert I have ever had.
The service was just as impressive as the food. I am a total stranger to Italian wines, so our server described in detail several wines on the menu and gave us amazing recommendations. She was so knowledgable about the food as well. Every course she presented to us she was able to perfectly describe each dish and answer all of our questions about the preparation of the food, and believe me, we had a lot! She, along with the other servers at the restaurant, made sure we were happy throughout the whole meal. The manager even came over at one point to make sure everything was to our liking. I read a review last week that the wait staff there had issues splitting checks but that was not at all the case with our table. We were a party of 6 and they gave us each our own check without any issues at all.
Overall I was extremely happy with our experience. Everything from the food, to the service, to the ambiance was perfect. I has easily become my favorite restaurant in town.
This place is AWSOME!!!! My husband & I ate there the other night for the 1st time. The antipasto salad (meat, cheeses & marinated veggies) will blow ur mind!!! I had the shrimp alfredo which was hands down the best I have ever ate!! My husband had the steak caruso it was a mind blower too!! Each meal came with a nice side salad with a tastie italian vinigerette! So good! The bread & dipping oil was warm & fresh! We also had a bottle of reasonably priced merlot & the best cheese cake to finish up the meal. They also give u a ton of food! We walked out with two boxes. This is our new FAVORITE place!! In fact were going back tonight!! YAY :)
Love this restaurant. There is a good selection of vegetarian options - even a vegetarian lasagna on the menu listed before the meat version. The bruschettas are excellent, the soups are good, the pastas we tried were excellent, and the portions are more than enough. We were fortunate enough to go with a large group and were able to pass plates around and try things. We ended the meal with coffee and a round of shared desserts - the night we were there, the desserts were from Sugar bakeshop.
Favorites: goat cheese/olive bruschetta, white bean/rosemary soup, veg lasagna, and the spinach/ricotta? ravioli, and the Italian wedding cake. Some loved the cabbage salad, too.
We all loved the dimly lit room, the lively atmosphere, and the incredible renovation. It's in the old Salon Couture space some of you may know. Overall, our new fave!
My wife and I ate dinner at The Wild Olive last night and we were extremely impressed. Tons of busy employees buzzing around, creative specials, nice atmosphere. Jacques is doing a great job.
This place is amazing! Always a favorite with family and friends from out of town. Live Jazz, fantstic food and all around great experience consistly! The service is great and the food is awesome at a reasonable price. Love Mercato!!!!!!!!!
Bacco has steadily been my favorite restaurant in Charleston (actually, period) for the past few years since it opened. It is very tasty, very inexpensive, and very cozy.
If you're reading this thinking "huh, I should try this place" then please consider this: go during the week. The word has gotten out and the restaurant is starting to fill up on weekends. I like eating here at 7 pm on a Saturday, so don't steal my table. Go on Tuesday or Wednesday, when chef/owner Michael offers his 7 course tasting menu for a mere $20. This includes 3 antipasti (appetizers), 3 primi (pasta), and a choice of dessert. The full menu is also available. Or go on Thursday, for half price wine bottles.
The food is the star here. Have you ever eaten something, closed your eyes, and had a moment, an experience? Not just putting food in your mouth because it's a metabolic necessity of life, but an actual experience from food? I've had that at probably 3 restaurants in my life, and Bacco is not only on the list, it's a repeat performer. Let's talk about some of those foods/moments.
Chicken liver crostini: If you don't like to eat "gross" stuff, you can skip this and go on to the pasta. That leaves more for me. These are magical. I order extra plates of this when I see it on the menu. When I was in Paris, I ordered goose live foie gras pate at every occasion. These crostini aren't just the next best thing to a Parisian cafe, they're better.
Pappardelle: On my first trip to Bacco, I had never heard of pappardelle. Afterwards, I scouted every grocery store in Charleston to find it (I'll save you the trouble: Whole Foods and Harris Teeter). This is a wide fettucini-like pasta with tomato sauce, basil, and mozzarella, as simple as it can get. It is also spectacular, a real example of the beauty of simplicity.
Ricotta cheese cake: I am not a dessert person, so just making it on this list is an accomplishment for the chef. This is unlike any other cheese cake you've had. It focuses on flavor and texture, not just cramming sugar and saturated fat into a wedge and calling it dessert. Also to note are the strawberries with balsamic reduction, again actual cuisine and a tasty way to end the meal.
Butternut squash soup: This is my wife's favorite dish. I normally think of soup as a course you get out of the way so you can get to the actual food. Much like salad. I make exceptions for only two: this and she crab soup. And wedge salads with bacon, but that's a different story.
Duck: I normally don't order, or particularly enjoy, duck. However, Michael makes the best duck leg, which my wife thankfully ordered, let me try, and I will now order next time I am there. I had similar tasting duck at a double Michelin starred restaurant, but Michael's is tastier, tenderer, and crispier.
There are many others, but considering the menu rotates seasonly, if not weekly, you're likely to have different choices each time you arrive.
In regards to the other aspects of the restaurant, as if the food isn't sufficient, the atmosphere is perfectly simple and comfortable, much like the food. The wait staff is perfect. I know most of them by name, because they are noteworthy.
Again, and I can't stress this enough, this restaurant is a must visit and my unequivocal favorite in town, but the 7 course chef's tasting menu on Tuesday and Wednesday is not only a steal of a deal, but a great way to experiment, diversify, and try some world class food you might otherwise not consider. If you go any other day, the regular menu is sure to please. Just don't take the last table, I want it.
Lucca is my favorite restaurant in all of Charleston, and in my top three nationwide. I've eaten there many times over the past two years and have never been less than ecstatic about the food.
I am a huge fan of Mondos! I love the artichoke hearts appetizer that is wrapped in prosciutto and stuffed with goat cheese! And for dinner I have had their Flamed Vodka Cream Sauce with shrimp, but now I just order from one of the chef's specials of the night! Everything is delicious and I am never disappointed!
Lovely atmosphere- great lighting even upon entry to the parking lot. The mussels were awesome, as was the local beet salad with farro. Ricotta gnocchi with boar ragu was an unexpectedly delicious entree. Desserts looked creative and delicious. Definitley worth the drive to John's Island.
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