Saturday, April 2, 2011

Il Cortile Del Re

After a week long of travel for work, I wanted to welcome my boyfriend home with a nice evening out at a restaurant we've always wanted to try: Il Cortile Del Re. This Italian eatery offers rustic charm in the heart of Downtown Charleston. One draw to this King Street ristorante is its precedent: Pane e Vino on Warren Street. Pane e Vino has been one of our favorites for date night, and since the owner formerly owned Il Cortile del Re, we knew we'd have to give it a go.

We were shocked that we were able to get a table at 8 o'clock on a Friday night. The place was packed with locals and visitors alike, most likely fueling their bodies for the impending Cooper River Bridge Run on Saturday morning. Luckily, we were able to secure a table right by the kitchen. Normally I would have been a bit perturbed by the rushing back-and-forth of the waiters, but I was too excited to be trying a new restaurant with my newly returned BF.

As we surveyed the menus we asked the waiter what he thought of their house red. He said he would be wasting our time and his if he brought it out for us to try, but we pressed for it anyway. I took a sip and immediately wanted to spit it out; it tasted like someone had filled the bottle with Skittles candy it was so sweet. We returned the wine and upgraded to a nice bottle of Chianti instead.

Matt was in the mood for a nice steak (ok, Italian probably was not the best place to go), but his Filetto di Manzo al Gorgonzola (beef tenderloin with gorgonzola sauce, garlic mashed potatoes and haricot verts) was juicy and tender to his liking. The gorgonzola sauce was a nice surprise to top off the beef.

I ordered the Penne al Tre Sapori (penne pasta with sauteed asparagus, pancetta and wild mushrooms in a light cream sauce.) What I loved about this dish was the portion; most pasta dishes these days seem to be never ending bowls, but this was the perfect amount. It left me feeling satiated, not full, and not needing more. The sauce truly was light and not too heavy, and each bite with the freshly grated parmesan was heaven in my mouth.

All in all we were very pleased with the experience. The atmosphere, food, and service are three reasons why we will be coming back.

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