Q: Where can I get the linguine with clams shown in the Charleston Restaurant Week ad I saw in the paper?
“I haven’t been able to identify the exact restaurant the photo is from,” the organization’s spokeswoman, Tori Beth Black, reported after looking into your request. “They use member photos to reflect what a dish may look like during Charleston Restaurant Week.”
That makes it sound like the azure dish heaped with pasta and wide-open clams might have been swiped from a stock photo site. But a reverse image search doesn’t produce any hits, so it’s possible that a local restaurant is in fact responsible for the creation in question. Confidential to area chefs: If that was your handiwork pictured, let it be known!
Fortunately, though, just because the photo which sparked your craving came from an unknown source doesn’t mean you’re doomed to miss out on top-notch clam sauce. My favorite local example of the genre is served at La Pizzeria in Mount Pleasant, which sells its spaghetti vongole for $20.95. You’ll find it in the “specialita della casa” section of the menu.
But when I recently returned to La Pizzeria to reconfirm my recommendation (which is another way of saying I was in the mood for Italian food), there was another pasta with clams listed on the specials sheet.
I hope you’ll forgive me for ordering the tender ribbons of pappardelle, saturated with spinach butter, instead of the everyday noodle dish. The pasta strands were nearly outnumbered by Bulls Bay clams, still briny after a spell in the sauté pan, and everything was dressed with a sauce that tasted roughly like what you might get if you shoehorned a head of roasted garlic into a bottle of Soave. In short, it’s a dish which could make you forget the prettiest picture.