Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Holy Macaroni: Il Corallo Trattoria

TL;DR: ★★★☆☆

A cute pasta joint in SoHo, with lots of options. Good food, staff and ambiance, but this place unfortunately lacks the wow factor, allowing me to forget its existence.

Food: ★★★★☆
Ambiance: ★★★☆☆
Staff: ★★★★☆

Price: $-$$
Number of visits: 2

Prince St. & Thompson St.

Ever since I was young, I've always been a fan of Italian food, so when I saw the menu at Il Corallo Trattoria, I knew I had to give it a try. The many options for pasta and the affordable prices drew me in, but I left feeling only satisfied and not amazed.

I've had two dishes here (how I made up my mind about these, I have no idea. The menu is massive, so you will definitely be overwhelmed if you're indecisive like me), and I definitely enjoyed the Farfalle del Mare far more than the Fusilli Amarticiana. Farfelle del Mare perfectly fits the criteria for my favorite kind of pasta dish — light and slightly tangy with the olive oil-based sauce with seafood and garlic — so I had high expectations.

Farfelle del Mar

However, something was missing from the dish (though I did enjoy it). Perhaps it was the sauce and pasta pairing — I didn't think such a dense and doughy pasta like bow tie went as well as a lighter one (maybe spaghetti or linguini) would have — or maybe the fact that the bow tie wasn't as al dente as I would've liked. But something was off, and the dish left me thinking that next time, I'll try another place.

The Fusilli Amarticiana was yummy as well, but again, it lacked a wow factor. The pasta and sauce pairing was fine this time, but the sauce seemed a bit bland and watered down for my taste. The pancetta was a great addition, though, as it had a good salty bite to it and compensated for the sauce.

Fusilli Amarticiana

The staff was very nice — the waiters were very accommodating and attentive, giving off positive and happy energy, which definitely made the dining experience more pleasant.

In regards to the ambiance, the restaurant had a cute, cozy vibe, giving it a homey appearance (especially with the use of colorful plates as wall decors). It had a slightly rustic feel to it, which made the place a bit more romantic and suitable for a date, but again, there was nothing special to the overall atmosphere. The space was also a bit tight but not so much that we were bumping elbows with the neighbors.

This place also had a lot of cute dishes, which I appreciated. Every plate that came out to the table was different, which, again, added to the homey feel of the restaurant. I believe the pitchers of water varied as well for every table — little things like these certainly upped the ambiance rating in my book.

Cute water pitcher :)

Overall, I like this place for its affordable and yummy dishes, and I'd definitely be willing to go back to try some more of their 20+ (not lying, I think it may even be over 30) pasta dishes. But if someone asked me to take them to the best Italian restaurant in the city, Il Corallo would unfortunately not cross my mind.

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