Tucked away in a quiet corner of downtown Charleston’s Elliotsborough neighborhood lies chef Ken Vedrinski’s charming Italian eatery, Trattoria Lucca. Inspired by the ancient Tuscan city of Lucca, a place renowned for its olive oils, Trattoria Lucca brings the essence of Italian cuisine to the Lowcountry.
It begins with small delicate slivers of local sea bass. The smell is sweet with a hint of the sea, its hue a translucent pink, and the texture smooth, eventually dissolving on your tongue. Preserved lemons add zest and color to a plate dressed with the finest olive oil and slices of Calabrese chiles — a perfectly balanced dish.
After the crudo ($12), big lumps of fresh blue crab mingle with a crowd of al dente gemelli that’s tossed in a vibrant, citrusy pistachio pesto ($24). A perfectly seared triggerfish dressed with roasted tomatoes sits on a bed of vermicelli in a beautiful pool of lavender lambrusco Vidalia onion crema ($27).
Charleston uber-chef, Ken Vedrinski, of Trattoria Lucca fame, recently opened Coda del Pesce, a new Italian influenced restaurant on Isle of Palms, South Carolina. Located 25 miles south of downtown Charleston, the restaurant, underwent a complete renovation paying particular attention to design elements to highlight the impressive seaside backdrop.