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Class and Taste in the Courtyard

La Corte Bistro, 1520 Lafayette St., Cape Coral, (239) 542-2224, lacortebistro.com



Some of the fresh offerings at La Corte

Courtesy of La Corte Bistro

WHY WE LOVE IT: The courtyard. Oh, that courtyard. (“La corte” is Italian for “the court.”) If it looks vaguely familiar, that’s because it is. The sprawling terrace in front of the iron gates and that lush little oasis behind them had been Brew Babies, but that’s where the similarities end. New owners refurbished every square inch inside and out, including adding an aromatic herb garden. They also brought on Tim Spain, a serious chef with years of fine-dining experience at home and abroad.

IDEAL MEAL: Some of what you might have seen on the menu in the restaurant’s previous life persists, although it has been reimagined by Spain. Risottos are creamier, laced with imported cheeses, and their perfect little pearls maintain a toothsome bite. A burrata salad (which seems to pop up everywhere these days) is a breath of fresh air, perhaps inspired by the restaurant’s embrace of the great outdoors: The milky white orbs are adorned with a scattering of finely carved veggies and sprigs of herbs. Make sure not to bypass the Colorado lamb chops, with a consummate coating of breadcrumbs and flecked with flat-leaf parsley.

VIBE: Exuding class and taste, it’s the kind of place you’d feel comfortable taking anyone, from senior management to a date you’re trying to impress. The bar is fully stocked, and the wine list, though concise, is a solid representation of American and European varietals. Because of its sprawling layout fanning out from the central courtyard, there are secluded nooks and crannies that make for a totally private dining experience even for just six or eight guests (now how’s that for your next team outing?). 

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