Brian Bertolini has been selling his fresh-cut, handmade pasta in Charleston for over five years. His products come in seasonal flavors, from chestnut tagliatelle to truffle lobster ravioli. You can find his pastas at farmer's markets and cook it up yourself for dinner (we love the collards and ham ravioli), or you can order it the next time you find it on an area menu. We called around to see how they're being served at a handful of the 60 restaurants that serve his artisanal product.
While some restaurants try to hide the fact their pasta is made by Bertolini, Five Loaves Café prints the information on their menu with pride. Try the gnocchi appetizer ($5.75), which comes tossed in a creamy goat cheese sauce with golden raisins and a balsamic reduction. The prices at Five Loaves can't be beat. Twelve dollars will get you a heaping plate of Bertolini spaghetti, topped with slow-cooked marinara and housemade meatballs.
The Mustard Seed has three locations, in Mt. Pleasant, Summerville, and James Island. Their menu features fresh soups, hefty salads, and, of course, pasta. Bertolini's sweet potato, gorgonzola, walnut, and parsley ravioli ($9) can be found at all three restaurants. The executive chef at the JI Mustard Seed, Billy Spencer, also features Rio's gnocchi and cavatelli as specials.
Il Cortile del Re prides itself on serving Charleston with authentic Cucina Italiana. So it makes sense the chef uses Rio Bertolini for the few options that are not made in-house. At Il Cortile, diners can feast on cinghiale con fagioli e pappardelle ($23). Translation: braised wild boar with cannelloni beans, tomato sauce, and Rio's wide-cut pappardelle.
Mondo's on James Island serves Bertolini's porcini mushroom ravioli ($11/lunch; $13/dinner), with sautéed button and portobello mushrooms in a basil cream rosé sauce. Sous chef Kyle Jones says his kitchen is running a four-cheese ravioli special today — with ravioli made by Rio — in a spicy diavolo sauce, with mussels, shrimp, sausage, roasted red peppers, and green olives ($23). Jones also uses Rio's lasagnatta to roll Mondo's ricotta-stuffed baked manicotti ($9.5/lunch; $13.5/dinner).
If you can't make it to the farmers market, but want to cook some Bertolini pasta for dinner tonight, stop by Ted's Butcherblock. In addition to gourmet sandwiches and an awe-inspiring bacon selection, Ted's also sells Bertolini pasta as a specialty food. They carry a wide variety of ravioli: summer squash and mascarpone, arugula and preserved lemon, sweet potato and gorgonzola, as well as spinach ricotta gnocchi. Occasionally, you can find the locally-made pasta in one of their prepared food recipes. Retail prices range from $7 to $14.