- Chowhound of Milan Oct 4, 2001 12:42 PM
Living and working in Milan does not permit me to go eat at the 23 Risotti or buy my cheese at Peck every day. Those places are delicious, but don't really fall under Chowhound fare as I understand it. But I'll throw in a mention of l'Assassino for their Fritto Misto di Pesce.
1. Any hounds out there who live and work in this city and know some good affordable places for lunch? I don't care about appearance, just the chow. And I'm more interested in places not in the center/tourist zone. Prime example: Bar Maffucci in via Maffucci which is way off the tourist map in an almost dangerous area near Piazza Nigra just outside of Viale Jenner. Silvio, the Sardinian owner, has a different menu every day, and really cares about the food. He's always got something from back home hidden away for the regulars, like a Pecorino Sardo, a soft cheese, which he'll excavate from a large form with a spoon onto your plate, or some homemade Mirto to settle your stomach for the afternoon. If you want to be friends with him, just bring something homemade and tasty (not on your first visit, though!) and you'll win his heart. The point here is that in this neighbourhood, its the best place for everyday eats. I'm looking for these kind of tips. I'm especially interested in something near Piazzale Libia (vie Bergamo, Comelico), but any good tip will do.
2. Chinese. Why is it so hard to find good chinese in this city? So many restaurants, so much food poisoning. Any of you hounds know of a place that is as good or better than Jubin in via Paolo Sarpi (corner of Bramante)? By the way, Jubin is serving a dish of stirfried mini fava beans (they look and taste like favas) with chili sauce these days which is just perfect as a side to the five spice beef. I was expecting stringbeans when I read 'spicy green beans' but was pleasantly surprised with the literal plate. Has anyone eaten at China Club at Rosmini and Giusti?
re: Jim Dixon
There are several train stations in the city, but you probably mean either Centrale (the biggest) or Cadorna (the most central, with express trains to Malpensa airport).
I don't know the area around Centrale too well, except for a great Tuscan place up via Melchiorre Gioia actually it may be in via Emilio de Marchi which is the continuation of Gioia, but its not walking distance. I haven't been around there in some time, but they did make the best fried potatoes I've tasted so far in Italy - they call them Patate Erotiche and they are sliced up simply and fried with whole black peppercorns and rosemary. The fat/oil that they use is a big secret but the results are perfect. Its really worth going just for those. They made a good tuscan bean/grain soup for starters. The big thing there is beef, in particular the fiorentina (boneless for now), but you might prefer the tagliata done simply with oil and rosemary. I know the name only as I Due Fratelli, because its run by two brothers, but its real name is something else, so I'll get back on this thread with that info next week.
Cadorna is already in the center and as such there are plenty of classy restaurants to choose from, but its a typical euro city center - be ready to pay for delicious goods at a place like Ristorante 4 Mori. I can't think of any shops around there to be considered chowhoundish since Viel, home of great gelati and frullati, closed down last year.
Da Giordano if they do lunch - and if not, dinner.
No Chinese food = No (or very few) Chinese Immigrants or The People Who Love Them (i.e. we Jews!)...despite the fact that Marco Polo introduced noodles to Italy (or maybe that's an urban myth?) As you've surmised, Milan is pretty small - there are a few Chinese restaurants in Rome but I haven't tried any of them.
PS Whatever you do, don't go to Casa Fontana for risotto - I had my 'rudest restaurant experience' ever there...it's what led me to Chowhound in the first place!
1. Where is Da Giordano? I'd like some details.
2. I live in chinatown and there are tons of chinese and chinese restaurants, I'm just tired of geting sick every time I try a new one, so I stick to Jubin.
3. I agree that Casa Fontana aka "I 23 Risotti" is kind of snooty but you can't argue with their appetizers, the best of which is the paper thin Lardo di Collonata - the real stuff. I have the good fortune of knowing a regular diner there and so have never had a problem getting in (maybe he's the one who got your table!). In any case, its not a place I'd consider chowhoundish and I'd probably never go on my own nor take anyone there. But I have had unpleasant experiences in many restaurants - probably because of my appearance (no jacket, wrong shoes, not clean shaven...) or something superficial like that. They give far too much weight to appearances here.
4. Do you know of good sunday brunch places, and I don't mean the ones sponsored by Nescafe? I've been to Juleps and for now that's the standard to be beaten.
5. Speaking of the people who love chinese immigrants, I've heard mention of a jewish-style possibly kosher rosticceria somewhere in the north-eastern zone of the city, but none of my friends knows exactly where or what its called. Any ideas? I'm hoping they do up the smoked meat like in Montreal.
re: Ted Matern
I just came back from Milan last week and went there...amazing food. Baked canelloni and fresh pasta with ragu. The gnocco (the proscuitto platter that everyone seems to order) looked heavy but amazing. They also had cavallo on the menu, which I find strange, but compelling enought to try.
I live in MILAN and the two best chinese restaurants are Ta Hua near the central station and Giardino di Giada.