In the very hip neighborhood of El Paseo in Palm Desert, there is an Italian restaurant like no other. Il Corso is known for using only the freshest ingredients in their menu items. Once you try the food here, you will have to include it in your weekly dining out list.
Il Corso uses local products and fresh fish, from many Coachella Valley farms. They serve many of their dishes table side with an old school type-rolling cart. All of their bread, pizza and pasta are made fresh everyday.
Here is what I tried:
Fiori di Zucchine Ripiene, Zucchini flowers stuffed with ricotta cheese served with tomato basil. These were individual little flowers, and the flavors were so remarkable, I just loved this dish.
Aragosta Catalana, with Lobster chunks, mache, green onions, cherry tomatoes, and a citrus dressing, nice pieces of lobster done with a simple dressing.
Zuppe E Insalate:
Zuppa Toscana, Mixed vegetable, beans and black kale soup, its like Jewish penicillin, but in an Italian style soup.
Butternut Squash Soup, this soup is so creamy, buttery and smooth, just a wonderful blending of delicious ingredients.
Paste e Risotti:
Pappardelle Ragu e Fungi, with homemade ribbon pasta and a veal, mushroom ragu. With its robust mushroom flavors, and full bodied ragu, the rich and glorious pasta made this dish amazing. What can I say, it is absolutely my favorite pasta dish of the night!
Tagliatelle All’Emiliana, with flat noodles with peas, ham, mushrooms, creamy tomato sauce. A very mellow rendition of this Italian pasta staple. But its subtle flavors really hit home with me.
Ravioli di Ricotta e Spinach is homemade ravioli in a spinach ricotta sauce. The raviolis are huge with amazing filling! I would definitely recommend this dish as well.
Spaghetti alla Pescatore, spaghetti with mixed seafood in a tomato sauce. The pasta was packed with lots of fresh seafood, with a nice array of aromas and flavors, a perfect combination.
Pesce e Carne:
Branzino, Mediterranean Sea Bass with cherry tomatoes, olives, potatoes, and white wine. Served tableside with the freshest fish and delicate accompaniments made this dish another favorite.
Costoletta D’Agnello alla Griglia, Grilled Lamb chops with rosemary served with roasted potatoes. The lamp was cooked medium rare and the meat was fall of the bone tender, with great rosemary flavors.
Chocolate Pizza, this dessert was created especially for my tasting and was just the perfect amount of fresh berries, with a nutella topping and a light crust.
Ananas Martini with Van Gogh Pineapple, fresh pineapple cubes, honey syrup, fresh lemon juice. This is a sweet refreshing cocktail with a nice zest of lemon.
Romana Lemon Drop Martini with Ketel One Citroen, Cointreau, Limoncello Liqueur, simple syrup, and fresh lemon juice. A very good example of how a lemon drop should be: not too sweet and not too sour.
Spring Lemonade: Square One Botanical vodka, Mt. Elderflowerl with fresh lemon, mint leaves sweet and sour, soda water. It’s more of an effervescent drink, but still great!
Chardonnay ’15, The Crossing, Flora Springs, Napa. This is my favorite wine I tasted. It has such an amazing balance of buttery and creamy nuances. This wine will go great with any seafood dish.
Chardonnay ’15, Hanaiali’I, Napa, is a similar to the Flora Springs, but with a more fruity tone. I would do this wine with the butternut squash soup.
Chardonnay Res. ’14, Mer Soleil, Sta. Barbara. I have had this wine before, and it went great with the Branzino.
Montepulciano ’14, Fantini, Italy. Such a glorious wine with all of its rich earthy flavors, it went great with the mushroom pasta.
Zinfandel ’12, Magnolia Hill, Amador County, this is the wine to drink with lamb! It enhances all of the rosemary without overpowering any of the lovely meaty goodness.
Barbaresco, Villadoria ’12, Piemonte, this wine went great with most of the pastas with tomato based sauces.
Il Corso was totally packed on the Friday evening that I was there. The restaurant was newly built from the floor up, with its high ceilings, brick wall, wood floors, round drop cardboard light fixtures, and open kitchen. It is a very grand interior, very similar to a large Tuscan country villa.
The clientele at Il Corso is very diverse: young and old people, golfers, families and couples, wanting to enjoy an upscale experience.
Chef Mario Marfia, from Palermo and Developer John Wessman meld their talents to bring a unique Italian dining experience to El Paseo in Palm Desert. They offer genuine Italian hospitality, authentic Italian dishes including: homemade pastas, gourmet wood oven pizza, seafood, and roasted leg of veal. Chef Mario also prepares nightly specials from all over Italy.
Chef Mario was born in Sicily and learned his skills working as Chef in the Mediterranean. He uses those cultural influences to prepare unique and special dishes each everyday. His son Claudio, oversees the day-to-day operation and makes sure that everyone is happy, with the restaurant service and overall hospitality.
Claudio’s mother Marika is of Dutch descent from Zaandam, Holland. She told her son never to give up, and to never sugar coat anything, she is a tough cookie. Like any other mother, Marika only wants the best for her son, and the family business. Claudio has lunch with his mother everyday at Il Corso, and he says, “my mom always decides what we will eat for lunch!”
I just loved the Italian ambiance, the authentic traditional and newer style dishes that Il Corso has to offer.
Monday through Sunday Pasta & Pizza Bar
Fine Dining: 11:30pam – 11pm
Bar: 11:30 -1:00 AM
73520 El Paseo Suite B
Palm Desert, CA 92260
Complementary Valet Parking