By David Wayne

Whenever there is a new restaurant in the Coachella Valley, people come running. I suggest you do just that, and run to Il Corso. Located in the heart of El Paseo across from the Gardens, it is a beauty to behold.

My wife and I were greeted by Claudio, who gracefully runs the restaurant. He took charge of our dining experience, and made us feel as if we had been coming there for years. We asked him what he recommended from his menu, and he suggested that he just bring us his best. We were on board however, did not expect the show we were about to enjoy.

Our server Sergio brought us a plate of Focaccia Bianca, freshly baked in a wooden oven. He then took our drink order and brought my wife a crisp glass of Pinot Grigio and I ordered a glass of iced tea, that was a special house brew.


Our first course was an heirloom tomato salad with burrata (creamy mozzarella), capers and red onions, along with a seared Ahi tuna salad. The seared tuna was served on a bed of mixed greens with cherry tomatoes, red onions and a balsamic vinaigrette dressing with a hint of soy sauce. Besides being very fresh, they both tasted incredibly delicious.

They brought my wife a different glass of wine with each course, and the next one was a glass of Amarone, which paired nicely with the two pasta dishes. One was Paccheri Pomodoro e Burrata with a lite tomato basil sauce. The other was Risotto al Tartufo e Prosecco, which was Italian Carnaroli rice with Prosecco wine and shaved black truffle. My wife described them both as decadent.

Since the first two courses had already satisfied our hunger, we shared the main course: a whole Branzino Sea Bass. The bass was prepared and grilled with rosemary, garlic, and olive oil, then skillfully filleted at our table by Claudio, who actually served all of our courses with a masterful presentation. The Branzino was moist, flaky, and paired for my wife with a fruity and slightly sweet Chardonnay.

For dessert we had homemade Tiramisu and cheesecake. The Tiramisu was classic and the cheesecake was made with ricotta and homemade cream cheese, topped with blackberries, raspberries and strawberries.

Besides the prime location, Il Corso has an awesome atmosphere, and the service was impeccable.

Open seven days a week, I recommend that you don’t miss out on one of the finest new restaurants that the Coachella Valley has seen in years!

Fine dining: 4:30 pm – 10:30 pm
Bar: 4:30 pm – 1:30 am
Call for a reservation: 760-341-6700
Complimentary Valet Parking