Mar 23, '09

Report from Milan, Spring 09 edition

As I’ve posted last year, Milan is not only about shopping for designer bags and shoes, but also about delicious Italian food and certain Milanese style that you can’t find anywhere else. I don’t speak about the new rich sweeping away  “Dolce” and “Giorgio” shops, but about the old Italy that is surprisingly still very present in Milan.

Have a lunch at….

Trattoria Milanese

My “most Italian” discovery this time was Trattoria Milanese ( Via Santa Marta 11, Tel. +39 02 8645199 ). It is not at all a “hidden gem” ( you can find it in many online/offline guides), but it has kept its old Milanese charm. When we came around 12.30 pm, there were only two guys sitting in the large dining room, each on the opposite part of the room at their own table reading newspapers and chatting. Soon after, the room was filled with the Italian crowd, most of them in suits, having their lunch alone or with a company. 

Trattoria Milanese
Trattoria Milanese

The menu contained different Milanese specialities – I ordered polpette in tomato sauce and risotto alla Milanese with osso buco that turned out to be two main dishes. I mixed polpette with”polpo” (“octopus” in Italian) and obviously, it was not the same thing (oh, well, my Italian is not that good after all :))… Anyway, finally, I was happy that could try polpette and discover the Milanese comfort foods.

Polpette in tomato sauce
Polpette in tomato sauce. (Meat balls with tomato sauce and potato purée).
Risotto alla Milanese with osso buco
Risotto alla Milanese with osso buco

Il Salumaio

Il Salumaio (Via Montenapoleone, 12, tel. +39 02 76001123) ambiance is opposite to Trattoria Milanese. It is located in a charming courtyard on via Montenapoleone and there you will see fashionable and edgy Italians from the nearby offices, girls with expensive shoes in shopping bags and even more expensive shoes on their feet and “new rich” from Eastern Europe. (Every time I go there, there is at least three tables speaking in Russian). The food is very good though, but I guess the biggest attraction is that you can eat outside and that is very pleasant.

Il Salumaio
Il Salumaio
Insalata di polpo
Insalata di polpo 
Vitello tonato
Vitello tonato

Have a drink at …

Four Seasons

Four Seasons hotel, steps away from via Montenapoleone, is perfect for fresh apple martinis. And the garden in the courtyard on a sunny day is a real pleasure.

fresh apple martini
Fresh apple martini
Four Seasons garden
Four Seasons garden

Cova

Cova on via Montenapoleone is not only a tea salon and pastry shop, its an institution.

Fresh blood orange juice.
Fresh blood orange juice
Cova
Cova

Have dinner at…

Ristorante Cracco

Ristorante Cracco (Via Hugo Victor, 4, tel. +39 02 876774 ) – a restaurant that by itself is worth a special trip. I don’t think that the menu changed a lot since last time, so not to repeat myself I am posting one ” amuse bouche” that particularly striked me.

Russian salad with caramel was the most amazing marriage of textures and flavours I have tasted this year. The chef has elevated the classic Russian salad to a whole new dimension.

Russian salad with caramel
Russian salad with caramel
Russian salad with caramel
Russian salad with caramel

Trussardi alla Scala

Even if I heard many positive things about Trussardi alla Scala ( Piazza della Scala, 5, tel. +39 02 68 82 1) I found it good, but it lacked that magic I felt in Cracco for example. I have the impression that the dishes on the menu sounded much better than they tasted.

“Raw and cooked red prawns from Sicily, crispy amaranth, “Taggiasca” olive oil, beetroot ice cream”. Correct, “creative”, but I already forgot how it tasted.

Raw and cooked red prawns from Sicily, crispy amaranth, "Taggiasca" olive oil, beetroot ice cream
Raw and cooked red prawns from Sicily, crispy amaranth, “Taggiasca” olive oil, beetroot ice cream

“Milanese veal cutlet, braised chicory with lemon”. The product is supposed to be “the king” in Italian cuisine, but this time the veal was dry… This is all that I remember…

Milanese veal cutlet, braised chicory with lemon
Milanese veal cutlet, braised chicory with lemon
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