Italian restaurant exceeds all expectations. Recently, I had the pleasure of gathering five friends, for a birthday party, at Il cortile. At first glance the font looks so small, like a nook. But, that's dceptive. It brings you a warmth, a coziness, like you just walked into a family restaurant in Italy. The ambience, and friendliness of the staff only expands on this feeling. We sampled a pino grigio/ chardoney mix at the bar, before dinner. It was delightful. The weather was mild, so we decided to be seated outside. Again, the staff were very attentive and informative, The food was amazing. the service impeccable. I can't wait for the next time to go there.
Simply the best.
Il Cortile was recommended to me two years ago after I complained about the lack of truly authentic Italian restaurants in the Charleston area. Since that time I have become a regular at Il Cortile and cannot speak highly enough of my numerous experiences. The atmosphere is totally unique as they have an old world charm filled with memorabilia from Italy complete with a fireplace and a spacious courtyard for outdoor dining. The ambiance is the most inviting and romantic of any I have experienced.
The food is consistently delicious. My two favorites are the wild boar, which is the best I have ever had, and the porcini mushroom ravioli. I have never had a meal that was less than outstanding in my many visits. All this and the best selection of Italian wines I have seen.
As if this isn't enough, this place has the friendliest staff in Charleston. It seems that their common goal is to delight and is accomplished with true sincerity. I have met the owner, Kim (I think she's from Italy) and the general manager, Mike, and immediately see where these goals originated as these people know their stuff.
Go ahead, bring your toddler!. Taking a two-year old to a late dinner is probably risky, but the waitstaff were very thoughtful and courteous to us. Moving from Boston, we greatly missed the authentic Italian food from the North End. This is probably the closest we'll come to that in South Carolina. The wine was amazing, and though we only had appetizers and dessert late at night, we were very satisfied. We'll definitely be back for dinner again.
Don't believe the positive reviews for this restaurant!.
We were visiting for spring break with our children and really were wowed by the positive reviews we read for the restaurant. After a great evening of enjoying the wonderful sights of downtown Charleston, we were looking forward to continuing the terrific evening with a great dinner.
Boy, what a letdown! We should have paid more attention to a prior review from 10/08 ... ditto on a lot of the problems they encountered:
* The bowtie and manicotti were very average!!
* Our daughter had the ravioli and she barely ate half the plate!
* When we asked for more bread, they brought out cold, stale bread
* The wait staff were never available and when we did manage to flag them down, it was clear that they were doing us a favor.
* We found the prices exorbitant - over $150 for 5 with only a beer and a glass of wine.
You have many better choices in Charleston - avoid this one.
thoughtful staff, like dining with family. easy to make reservations, be sure to specify where you want to be seated (near street, near fireplace, in the garden in back). greeted and seated promptly, offered to handle our coats. quaint decor, professional wait staff. my husband was wearing his Army dress blues (per my request) and the owner brought a champagne toast complementary as a token of thanks for his service to our country. (very thoughtful). the food was tasty, good portion size, and freshly prepared. this is genuine italian food! the menu shows the chef has diversity and intimate cuisine knowledge.
Very disappointing food.
We were there just last night prior to going to the theater.
It must have been a very off night for the chef.
The spinach salad was just a blob of baby spinach saturated with dressing and
a little grated carrot mixed in.
The ravioli special must have sat under the heat light too long as it was rubbery
and hard on one side.
My order of roast pork with au gratin potato came out as roast pork with some
roasted quartered potatoes ....the waiter said it would take an additional 45 mins
for the augratin...
The dessert menu of 5 items ( 4 were ice cream of some sort) the tired tira misu
was the best thing we had......
$100.00 later with the cost of 3 glasses of wine......probably the worst experience
we have had in dining in the last year.
Oh! when we said we were disappointed in the food, the wait staff avoided us as
if we were lepers!
There are so many wonderful restaurants in Charleston, I am amazed that this
place has had any decent reviews.
Lovely night in Charleston!.
For our last night in Charleston, my husband and I wanted something other than lowcountry cusine. Il Cortile was recommended by at least three locals, so we gave it a try. We had low expectations, but ended up with not just a great meal, but a fabulous last night in Charleston.
Unlike many of the other tourist driven establishments, we found Il Cortile Del Re to be a bit more authentic. We walked there from our hotel in the rain and were quickly seated in the back room (by the kitchen) at a cozy corner table for two by the fire place. it was romantic and mostly quiet (except from the loud diners at the table next to us). Many things on the menu looked good, but after days of overeating we stuck to just ordering pasta dishes- and they were amazing! I had the mushroom ravioli and my husband had the first pasta dish on the menu (shrimp, scallops, and mussles on spaghetti with a spicy tomato sauce). Both were great. Our waiter was helpful and attentive. We would definitely go back!
A great place to go for dinner for two (or more)!.
True to their advertising, this little traditional Italian restaurant really does expose customers to above average creative, yet traditional, Italian food. No spaghetti and meatballs here .The atmosphere is very romantic, and very European. The service was very good for a busy Friday evening. Our server was not only very attentive and knew all about the items and wines on the menu, but knew which cheeses in the restaurant were homogenized and which were pasteurized. My only complaint about the restaurant itself was weak floor structure around our table that caused my chair and table to bounce every time someone walked through.
On to the food. . . we started with the cheese plate appetizer and a bottle of Chianti. The cheese plate was lacking in presentation and selection. It consisted of four single pieces of cheese (one of which tasted exactly like the smell of a dairy farm) with a dollop of creamy goat cheese all delivered on a plate with a paper doilie. However the "truffle cheese" was so good I asked our server for more information on it. For the main course my wife had the veal, medium rare, and I had the wild boar stew. The veal was absolutely delicious and the greens it was served with were perfectly prepared. The wild boar stew was a little bland and the boar tasted a little dry. It was a warm and hearty dish but I would not recommend it to anyone looking to try something exotic.
So here is the verdict:
Atmosphere: 4 1/2
Service: 4 1/2
Food: 3 1/2
Cost: $117: one appetizer, dinner for two, one bottle of wine ($42). Very fair.
For a grand total of 4 Stars for Il Cortile Del Re. A great place to go for dinner for two (or more)!
Bad Attitude. I was both surprised and disappointed to learn from other reviewers that the owner/hostess attitude was not acceptable. Like the others, my party of 2 had a early reservation (opening time)and upon arrival requested to be seated in the front room. The hostess was adamant in seating us in the back of the restaurant against a wall and near the kitchen. At the time, the restaurant had one other table in the front that was occupied. When asked why we could not dine in the front room, we were told quite rudely, it was for those with reservations - to which I responded, we have a reservation. Ah'h.......we did not request the front room and no way. It is either this table in the rear or you can leave. I found that non acceptable. Interestingly, we then dined at the Peninsular Grill (no reservation) and had a superb meal. I reside in California and will not recommend this place to anyone.
Excellent food; quirky management affected service. The food and the wine selection are excellent. The setting is intimate and, for the most part, the service is very good. Management could be better, which might remove the few rough spots in the service. My wife and I ate here during the Spoleto Festival this year. On arrival, we had to wait to be greeted, as two people who appeared to be the hostess and floor manager were engaged in an obvious argument in the middle of the main dining area. Eventually the manager noticed us and ordered the hostess to greet us. The atmosphere was a bit chilly at that point. We noticed the empty tables in the beautiful courtyard and asked to be seated there. She informed us that those needed to be requested when making reservations. I asked why we weren't offered that choice when making the reservations, and she shrugged and said that people were expected to know what they wanted. The tables remained empty throughout the evening. Once we were seated, things got much better. In a nutshell, the food and table service were very, very good. The goat cheese salad was a delight; the duck and salmon entrees were cooked perfectly, with seasonings and sides that complemented them well. A bit pricey compared to some other top restaurants in the city, but still very good. Our waiter was attentive without being intrusive. The only other disappointment came when my wife asked for a glass of iced tea after dinner. "We don't serve iced tea here." was the response. Admittedly there is no law requiring serving of iced tea in a city noted for its Southern hospitality, but this was a surprise, as was the lack of any apology or explanation. I've read elsewhere that the owners are married and are the operators. Perhaps it was they who were fighting, making it a difficult night for the staff as well as customers. We'll give it another chance, hoping it was just a bad night. This has the potential to be one of the city's best restaurants, if run properly.
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