It’s the economy, not the restaurant

Ristorante IL Cortile
125 Mulberry Street
(212) 226-6060

In a galaxy far away, a long, long time ago, you made reservations at IL Cortile and often you would drop someone’s name and then maybe, maybe you would get a table. Boy has times changed! The other day I was in little Italy, now a ghost town, I walked into IL Cortile and was seated immediately. The huge restaurant was so empty that some preschoolers were playing tag in a closed section that was bigger than most other restaurants.
Il Cortile is over the top, there is a man sized floral display and some of the brick s have been imported from Italy The menu was presented as a folded parchment, cute, but confusing. However, the waiter was truly professional. I ordered the Scaloppine “Panettone”, veal and mushrooms baked in bread. Very quickly the waiter came back and said. The panettone was not at its best and suggested something else.
The Antipasto Caldo “Cortile”, hot antipasti was small and some of the items burnt. not a good start. The Spaghettini Puttanesca Speciali, literally whore’s pasta, was only luke warm, but the pasta was al dente and the ingredients very fresh. It could have used a little more spice.
The Mussels Marinara was very good, the sauce restaurant made and just so. My Veal dish had lots of Puccini mushrooms and the veal melted in my mouth.
An old trick to determine the quality of the restaurant is to ask for a glass of the house wine, a good restaurant will not give you a bad wine. I did and got a Chianti Reserva that east very smooth and a beautiful bouquet.
Dessert was Espresso and a chocolate mouse cake with crushed nuts that was worth the wait.
IL Cortile still has it and I guess the emptiness can be blamed more on the economy than the restaurant.
Dinner for two $120
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