A wine festival always brings out the best in a city.
For the BB&T Charleston Food & Wine Festival, there was nowhere better to be in March. Even more enchanting for the lucky ones who found their way down the cobblestones of King Street was an Italian oasis in the heart of the historic district. Tucked away on the busiest street in downtown Charleston, is Il Cortile Del Re, a charming Italian eatery with an embracing authentic feel of the old country that envelopes you the moment when you walk inside.
The atmosphere and decor is alluring; complete with a fireplace, red walls and a comforting warmth everywhere. It is a cozy and inviting place to enjoy the food, wine and company. The restaurant has a lovely courtyard, unique to this bustling street and it boasts a traditional Italian rustic design, complete with linen table cloths and soothing ambient lighting.
Needless to say, the wine list made the visit even more delightful.
For starters, there was the 2011 Danzante Pinot Grigio from the Tre Venezie region. Full bodied, fruity, floral, with a crisp finish, this wine paired perfectly with my Barbebietole E Caprino salad. The wine menu is extensive and extremely reasonable, as the most expensive wine by the glass being only $10. It was the perfect choice for enjoying an early spring day in the holy city on the outdoor patio.
Justifiably so, the owners take great pride in offering wine of a high quality at an affordable price. Naturally, the majority of the labels are from Italy, but there are several American options on the menu as well. Along with the wine list, the menu had a wide range of enticing offerings. For a spring day in the south, I found a salad comprised of local beets and goat cheese, baby arugula with a hint of olive oil and balsamic that appeared to be the perfect choice for the occasion: fresh, well balanced and flavorful, it proved to be, much to my satisfaction.
The staff is undeniably attentive and friendly, perhaps some hailing from Italy themselves. With the superb reasonable wine list, food that is molto buono, and an atmosphere that makes you want peruse the endless wine racks, or just sit and engage in conversation for hours, you cannot go wrong with a visit to Il Cortile Del Re. As one who recently moved to Charleston, I can now understand why every review is glowing, and why it is recommended so highly by the locals.
The BB&T Wine & Food Festival was a great time for all, both for the natives of Charleston and the tourists. It made me very happy with my decision to move into the charm of life in Charleston and embrace all that it has to offer. After dinner and wine at Il Crotile Del Re, I now know why so many are always coming back, as will I!
Ciao for now!…but its never too early to plan for next year: