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“The absolute BEST”

Cortese Restaurant INC
Ranked #5 of 212 Restaurants in Binghamton
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $0 - $20
Cuisines: American, Italian, Pizza
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Large groups, Business meetings, Special occasions, Bar scene, Local cuisine, Families with children
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Late Night, Delivery, Reservations, Takeout
Rochester, New York
Level Contributor
111 reviews
51 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
“The absolute BEST”
Reviewed September 22, 2013

I absolutely love this place! Grew up in Binghamton and this place was a place we would treat ourselves to. Their pizza is one of a kind; amazing crust and baked to perfection. The service is top notch - the wait staff goes above and beyond the call. I cannot say enough good things about Cortese!

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Michaell333
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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336 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    191
    78
    34
    18
    15
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Otego, New York
Level Contributor
54 reviews
47 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Satisfied Table of Four”
Reviewed September 18, 2013

What a rare treat! For the first time in years, I was able to enjoy a dinner out with my husband and hear only positive critiques of our food. (You might think this is silly, but it can really put a damper on our night out sometimes!) We traveled about 45 minutes to enjoy a rare date night with some friends and arrived promptly for our reservation. We were seated quickly and though it was very busy and a little too snug for my taste, nobody bumped into our party or made us feel like we were in the way. Our waiter was probably the best I've ever experienced. He wasn't overly friendly, but just the right amount of helpful and quick about his business. Very professional. For a table of four that have varying palates, we were all satisfied with our meals. Portions were good on all but the appetizers, which were a little too skimpy for the prices. I had the fettuccini alfredo with broccoli and mushrooms. I thought the price was a bit outrageous for the portion size, but I was quite pleased with the quality of the food and preparation. These folks really know how to cook! My only warning: If you don't like large amounts of garlic, don't order the Italian dressing! I switched salads with one person in my party so we didn't need to send her salad back. I loved the dressing, but she was very put off by the large chunks of garlic atop her salad. While there were older children in the restaurant, I wouldn't really recommend taking small children here. It's plenty noisy to cover any noise they might make, but the overall atmosphere seemed to be more adult friendly. Forget trying to have a romantic dinner here on a Saturday night. You'll never hear one another...

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank curlygirlmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oneonta, New York
Level Contributor
80 reviews
69 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Excellent reputation is well deserved!”
Reviewed September 16, 2013

Simply exceptional food and service, and the best meal I've had in years! You must try their version of "Milanese Style" steak, which is a garlic, oregano, and oil sauce poured over the steak on a sizzling hot platter just before it is served. It takes a great steak to a whole new level.

We had dinner with another couple at Cortese Saturday evening. Even though they were packed, we were seated at exactly the time of our reservation, and I was blown away by how fast, friendly, and professional our service was. We all loved our meals as well. I had the "Festa Corrado", which is fresh little neck clams, sea scallops, mussels, and shrimp over linguine with red or white sauce (I chose white) on one plate, along with a beautiful prime rib served "Milanese Style" on another. Every single bite was delectable, and the quality was second to none. The portions are excellent if you have a big appetite, but not ridiculous. While not exactly cheap, the prices are quite reasonable for the quality of food and service.

They have a variety of house-made salad dressings. The house Italian is very good, but be warned, they really love their garlic here (and so do I). The bleu cheese was also excellent. The fried calamari appetizer is on the small side, but prepared perfectly. It is served with cocktail sauce rather than marinara, though they seem happy to prepare whatever you like, however you like it. The bread is soft and squishy, but very fresh and plentiful.

The dining areas are a bit small, and the tables seem a little too close together, but we were a table of four, three of whom are very large, and had enough room. As packed as they were on a Saturday night, it was a bit loud, but not overbearing. From where we were seated, I had a good view of the meals being served at many other tables, and everything I saw look delicious. I didn't notice a single complaint from anyone while we were there, but heard plenty of compliments.

The general atmosphere was welcoming and comfortable for semi-casual fine dining, and the effort, pride, and attention to detail is very evident in everything they do. As an obese person who is not wealthy, I tend to be very conscious of negative and judgemental attention, as well as the subtle condescension which often taints my experiences at otherwise nice places. I felt very at-ease and welcome at Cortese. I only wish this were the norm at better restaurants.

I can't say enough about the superb service, and I'm embarrassed that I can't remember our server's name, but he obviously had a great deal of experience, and should be teaching waiters and waitresses everywhere how it's done. Confident, efficient, and professional, without a bit of arrogance. Friendly and available, without intruding. Normally I'm mainly concerned with the quality of the food, but service this exceptional must be acknowledged. If our server should read this, and remember the "fat table of four" from Saturday evening who gave you an extra pen, your excellence was truly appreciated.

I highly recommend Cortese Restaurant. It is now the standard to which I will compare future fine dining experiences. I can see myself becoming a regular here very easily.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank FATMAN C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
108 reviews
60 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Great food and service”
Reviewed September 6, 2013

Certainly one of my favorite Binghamton restaurants. Consistently good food. Not over-priced. Friendly service. I have ordered several entrees, and never been disappointed. Consistently good filet mignon. Wine pours are generous. I love the dark wooden bar. Can be a little noisy, but comfortable.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank PFirth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seaford, New York
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Great Italian Food”
Reviewed September 3, 2013

I have been to this restaurant several times and it never disappoints. The food is excellent and portions are large. This is one of the best restaurants in Binghamton. Chicken and pasta dishes were excellent. I recommend this restaurant to everyone.

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Lorraine L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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