This Saturday in Charleston is the 36th annual Cooper River Bridge Run. This race began in 1978 and since then has grown to become the third largest 10k run in the country. 33,000 runners will face the challenge of the steep incline of the Arthur Ravenal Bridge, the wind and this year, quite possibly (dare I say it?) the rain in exchange for the breath taking views at the top of the bridge and the sweet taste of victory at the finish line on the other side. If the final step in your 10K training is to carbo load at dinner Friday night, we have some dinner suggestions for you.
Chef Ken Vedrinski offers many tasty pasta options at this Tuscan influenced Italian restaurant. All of the pastas are meticulously house made using organic semolina flour and he couples the pastas with imported Italian cheeses and locally sourced vegetables and fish. A few of the pastas include tagliolini pasta with flash seared pamlico sound, N.C. calico scallops, spicy 5-Minute Marinara and lemon agrumato as well as bucatini pasta with foraged winter mushrooms, a soft Jordan Farm egg, with crispy guanciale and browned goat butter
IL Cortile Del Re
Il Cortile Del Re has evolved from downtown’s hole-in-the-wall well-kept secret to a swanky Italian mainstay on lower King Street. Il Cortile also offers several pasta dishes that are hard to pass up including penne with a sauce of basil, pine nuts & parmigiano with sauteed shrimp and Ravioli stuffed and topped with wild mushrooms in a light cream & romano cheese.
Chef Mike Lata is known for showcasing local, sustainable foods with exquisite culinary talent. His menu changes often but there is always something delicious to try. For your bridge run prep, try fresh spaghetti with Caper’s clams, fava beans, ramps and fine herbs.
East of the Cooper
Pane e Vino
Located on Warren St downtown, they recently opened a second location on Coleman Boulevard in Mt Pleasant. This Italian restaurant offers many pasta dishes that will have you sprinting to the finish line. A few of our favorites are Spaghetti tossed in extra virgin olive oil, garlic, crushed red pepper and cherry tomatioes, basil and buffalo mozzarella as well as homemade Pappardelle with slowly roasted duck leg and a light wild mushroom cream sauce.
Graze offers just a couple of pasta dishes but one is addictive enough to make it a great choice for your pre-run dinner. This pasta dish has pappardelle noodles with goat cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, wild mushrooms, toasted pine nuts and white truffle oil.
If you are staying on Sullivan’s Island or would like a great excuse to head to the beach, then High Thyme is a great option. They will help you carb load with a great lasagna that includes beef, pork and veal bolognese with Fresh Grated Parmesan & Basil.
Al di La
Al di La is a fantastic neighborhood restaurant that offers Northern Italian fare with plenty of delicious pasta dishes to help you get to the finish line. A few of our favorites are pappardelle noodles with braised rabbit, baby green garlic and pine nuts and tagliatelle with duck confit, porcini mushrooms and truffle oil.
The Glass Onion offers comfort food inspired by the South Carolina Lowcountry as well as New Orleans. They are best known for their amazing fried chicken (for more on that, check out their recipe in the April issue of The Local Palate) but they offer yummy pasta too that will help you fulfill your quest for carbs.. Look for the NC soppressata and creamy SC broccoli with handkerchief pasta.
If you are planning on staying in for the your pre-run meal, check out Rio Bertolini’s Fresh Pasta Company. They offer a dizzying array of fresh cut pastas, raviolis and gnocchis and each is as delicious as the next. Another eat-at-home option is Celia’s of Charleston homemade lasagna. Each lasagna is made with 25-30 sheets of fresh pasta that is tender enough to melt in your mouth. Whichever dinner plan you chose, eat well and run hard!