It’s hard to stand out in the crowded field of dining and drinking establishments on Coral Gables’ Restaurant Row, so it’s not a surprise that some newcomers struggle to find their identity. Like a middle child born into a brood of popular over-achievers, the 6-month-old Il Corso Trattoria is flanked on Giralda Avenue by longtime hangout The Bar, with its stalwart stream of party-minded drinkers, and lively gastropub The Local, with its adventuresome menu and craft beers.
Housed in the cavernous space formerly occupied by Archie’s Pizza, Il Corso serves traditional Italian fare — pizzas, pastas, risotto and trattoria-style entrees. But it tries to make everybody happy by throwing in barbecue and buffalo chicken wings on its antipasti menu and including ubiquitous Miami desserts like tres leches among its sweet endings. An oversized, laminated menu with photos of dishes screams “budget,” but a final bill of $200-plus for a group of four says otherwise.
Ambience: An attempt has been made to warm the brick-columned, 75-seat dining room, but the large mirrors, landscape paintings and multiple big-screen TVs make it feel impersonal. A full bar that stretches along one wall had neither bartender nor patrons on our evening visits.
What Didn't Work