Il Cortile: Expertly Prepared Italian Cuisine - New York City Article
Il Cortile: Expertly Prepared Italian Cuisine Follow @nyccitiview
Il Cortile Has Been Family Owned For Over 44 Years
Il Cortile has been owned and operated by the Esposito family, in the same location, since 1975. There are many reasons this restaurant has thrived in the competitive environs of NYC. First and foremost the recipes presented here are prepared with the freshest and highest quality ingredients available. The recipes are also family favorites that have been handed down for generations and are rich in family history.
When you combine the exceptional and freshly prepared food with a very loving and knowledgeable staff, a warm and family inspired atmosphere, complete with your favorite Italian music, you’ve found the perfect spot for a most memorable meal.
Il Cortile’s Menu Features Authentic Italian Recipes
The menu at Il Cortile is extensive but certainly not overwhelming. You’ll find a complete list of your favorite pastas, seafood, veal, chicken, pork and beef. There are vegetarian options as well as something for everyone in your party!
For fans of the hit TV Series, The Sopranos, you’ll be excited to know that Il Cortile was a favorite stop for many of the cast members, including James Gandolfini, Steven Van Zandt and Tony Sirico. In fact, there is a signed photo of James Gandolfini hanging above his favorite table in the rear of the Garden Room.
For our recent visit we sampled several dishes and each one of them was expertly prepared and served. Our waiter, Angelo, was extremely helpful in helping us decide on our choices and also in explaining the details about the dishes we ordered.
The Food At Il Cortile Is Prepared With The Freshest and Highest Quality Ingredients
For starters we sampled the Hot Antipasto Salad. The plate was piled high with Baked clams oreganate, shrimp and scallop oreganate, an asiago stuffed mushroom and eggplant rollatine. All were delicious! The Eggplant was stuffed with fresh ricotta and tomatoes and the eggplant itself was crisp and cooked perfectly. Not soggy! The Scallop Oreganate was cooked with a perfect crispy finish!
Of course we had to follow that with a cold antipasti platter and that came piled high with prosciutto, soppressata, grana padana, olives, roasted red peppers, marinated zucchini and special Parmesan cheese aged 36 months. Everything on the plate was wonderful and we especially liked the zucchini that was cooked with reduced balsamic vinegar. The aged Parmesan was extra special and was a perfect compliment to both the prosciutto and soppressata or a treat on its own!
The Staff At Il Cortile Are Experts In Italian Cuisine
Our server, Angelo, pointed out that, in Italian cooking, there is a systematic pairing of specific types of pastas and gravy (sauces) to create the best flavor combinations. Another essential element in Italian cooking is that the dishes are colorful and tasty. The pasta at Il Cortile is all made in house!
For entrees we had two very special dishes. Scaloppine con Melanzane, Mozzarella, Pomodori an Pepperoni Piccante that translates to Veal Scaloppini with baked eggplant, fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and hot peppers. WOW! This knocked my socks off! A perfect plate and good to the last bite! A perfect plate of food!
We also tried the Lobster Ravioli, which is a special menu item only available accordinlg market availability. This was our lucky day! This is a dish that you must experience. The plump Ravioli were full of perfectly cooked lobster and covered with a cognac cream sauce and diced tomatoes. This was a plate of food you did not want to be over. Simply unbelievable!
Another entrée at Il Cortile that will surprise you every time is the Broiled Pork Chop with garlic, oil and hot peppers. The pork chop here is as good or better than many of Manhattan’s most famous steakhouses. I’ve found it cooked perfectly every time and the chop is always tender and juicy. Highly recommended!
The Meal At Il Cortile Is Exceptional From Start To Finish
For dessert we had the small cannolis, which were fabulous as expected. We also enjoyed a fruit parfait with Zabaglione cream made with egg yolk and Marsala wine. The parfait was freshly made and was flavorful and full of color. The whipped ceam was fresh made in house too! A very nice finish to the meal.
We had the traditional Limoncello and Espresso to finish and both delivered as expected. The Espresso came with a lemon wedge and I learned something else about Italian dining…the lemon is a headache cure!
Il Cortile is an essential New York dining destination and the authenticity here is undeniable. As a veteran of many meals here I can tell you that you have not dined in Little Italy until you have been to Il Cortile! Buon Appetito!