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Il Cortile


Pan
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I ate at this place in Little Italy (west side of Mulberry a bit south of Hester) on Friday night IIRC. It wasn't my idea to go there; it was a recommendation of the concierge at a hotel a friend's brother was staying at. I was somewhat apprehensive about eating in Little Italy, actually, but the experience wasn't half bad.

We had a party of 7. We ordered an antipasto plate. I stuck to the cheese and veggies on that plate and found them quite passable. We also had scamorza (fried cheese), which was very enjoyable and accompanied by a nice sauce. I ordered stuffed calamari for a main dish. It was stuffed with eggs, with parsley and other herbs, and accompanied by a tasty, peppery fra diavolo plum tomato sauce. We got two contorni for the table: spinach and escarole, both of which had a nice texture and a good taste and were very garlicky. I had a taste of the veal scaloppine, which was topped with strips of provolone, and it was good, but I did not sample other main dishes. We got two bottles of quite acceptable ุ red wine (identified by one of the diners as a บ wine in liquor stores), and the total cost of the meal amounted to 趸 or ุ/person, including tax and tip.

Yes, one could have equally good food and, conceivably, better wine for บ less in the East Village, but Il Cortile is a good Little Italy choice.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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I've been to six or seven of the big places on Mulberry, and I can't say I've ever found them as terrible as they're supposed to be. At most of them, you can get a passable Italian-American meal (better than the best Italian restaurant in the overwhelming majority of American cities) at an acceptable price, and they all seem to have a reserve of culinary firepower in the kitchen that can be activated by proper communication with the waitstaff. There's much better Italian-American available elsewhere, especially in the boroughs, but I don't dread going to Little Italy nearly as much as I dread dining at the same price point on, say, the Upper West Side. I've done best at Casa Bella. (Ask for Renato, tell him I sent you . . .) The big caveat in Little Italy is the specials. Never order them without first ascertaining the price, as they can easily be 400% the cost of the average printed entree.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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  • 10 months later...

In a thread a while back Little Italy dining spots were discussed. Il Cortile has always been a favorite of mine.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Kitchen Kutie

"I've had jutht about enough outta you!"--Daffy Duck

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I haven't eaten at Il Cortile in about 10 years. Had good meals and for a boy from The Bronx who was forced to move to NJ at 13 years of age it was a godsend. But the last two times there we ordered off the menu andI don't exactly remember what happened the 1st time to piss me off, but the 2nd time I was charged $55 for a Veal Chop. Needless to say it was the last time I visited. A beautiful place with a great courtyard and a good 2nd floor balcony. My father still goes there and actually mentioned it in the last two weeks so maybe I'll try it again

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  • 1 month later...
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