I recently had the opportunity to visit Coda del Pesce on the Isle of Plams, South Carolina, with two friends who had been on previous occasions. They asked me to join them for a 5-course tasting menu.
The restaurant sits atop a dive bar and offers stunning beach views. The floor to ceiling windows overlook a patio that leads out to the sand and water. The decor is a mixture of modern Mediterranean and Italian with rich blues and a variety of woods. The only thing I didn’t like about the decor was the cliché white and blue pillows with a giant fish pattern.
When we informed the waiter about my tomato allergy, he said it wouldn’t be a problem to create a tomato free menu. I was incredibly impressed with the chef, and staff’s attention to detail when they learned about the allergy.
We started with a Frito Misto with fried calamari, shrimp, sea bass, and sardines the sardines were really good and so was the grouper. The dish is served with citrus agresto that makes a great dipping sauce.
Our first course was a freshly made pappardelle with olive oil, citrus, and Colatura di Alici (anchovy extract) it was topped with yellowfin tuna crudo. The waiter suggested we could toss the tuna in the pasta to give it a little warmth or just eat it raw. This was one of the most flavourful and interesting dishes I’ve had in a while – especially in Charleston. I finished the course in love with the dish and ready to visit again – just for that!
Next, we had a sea bass filet perched with scallops, white acre peas, pancetta, and bacon, in a broth of Vin Santo (Italian dessert wine) and goat butter. This dish was rich and sweet. I could have drank the sauce, it was so good. Again, a dish I could eat again.
We were then presented with a swordfish accompanied by oyster mushrooms, and asparagus with a sweet and sour agro dolce sauce. The sauce was bold and went well with the delicate swordfish. I love mushrooms, and these mushrooms were tender and delicious with the sauce.
The final course was dessert. I always look forward to a good dessert, but the chocolate and mascarpone panna cotta was a bit of a letdown after the 3 previous courses. The texture was perfect, but the chocolate flavour was a bit off. By the time we got to dessert, I was overly full from the earlier courses and didn’t really mind setting it aside.
Coda del Pesce is a must if you live in, or are visiting Charleston, SC. No longer do you have to drive downtown for authentic and exceptional Italian Seafood.
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