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Feb 14, 2011 11:01 AM

Quick Milan visit

It looks like I will have a quick 2 night visit in Milan ths July. (not expense account) We will be focussing on museums churches and cultural stuff so probably wil be mostly in Centro/Brera tho we would travel a bit for a specially tasty meal. It like to sample the typical cuisine of the area - wondering, what restaurants's cooking is particularly delicious right now? What are the couple of places you would choose to exemplify the best avaiable at a reasonable price?

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  1. jen,

    Where are you staying? I see that you don't mind traveling for a tasty dinner but it probably isn't necessary.

    And as usual, it helps if you specify what you mean by a reasonable price in euros.

    8 Replies
    1. re: barberinibee

      not sure - the places I am looking at are N or the Brera and near the Sforeszco, Im putting a premium on convenience and walkability, particularly an easy getaway for an early morning flight out of Malpensa. - When I say reasonable I mean bourgeois I guess - not in the stratosphere pricewise or stylewise . I realize for such a short stay its even a little silly to ask, but I' ve been populating the Milan Restaurant pages and nothing has really jumped out at me yet as extra specially characteristic and interesting except maybe Da Abele, which is a bit of a hike from anything we are otherwise visiting.. I'd really like to cap off this trip with something delicious..

      Da Abele
      Via Temperenza,5, Milan, Lombardy , IT

      1. re: jen kalb

        Hi Jen, Milan as befits Italy's economic capital has a wide range of restaurants of course (and expensive by our standards) and on our occasional visits we tend to go for non-Italian ethnic cuisines (Thai, Sushi etc) . But if you are mobile and want a quick sortie to Piedmont, just on the other side of Malpensa airport at Oleggio is one of our favourites, La Trattoria Il Gatto e La Volpe (the Cat and the Fox) which we always recommend to any of our guests staying near the airport for their last or first nights. Its also a worthy listing in Slow Food's guide.

        Via Nebulina 22, OLEGGIO 28047
        Telefono: 0321-998256

        Closed Saturday Lunch and Sundays.

        1. re: Villasampaguita

          sigh. We stayed in Oleggio on our last visit specifically to try this restaurant. But I hadnt throught ahead to book (this was a weeknight, mind you) and we couldnt get in. . this time we are not renting a car, so I think Oleggio is not practical. Do you disagree?

          Il Gatto e La Volpe
          Via Nebulina 22, Oleggio, Piemonte 28047, IT

          1. re: jen kalb

            Unless you are staying near Malpensa, yes it is impractical w/o car. It is a popular restuarant and close enough to Milan for their crowd. Suggest you trawl Slow Food guide.

            1. re: Villasampaguita

              sure, its been my bible for years. it can be less helpful in a major city tho because of their price limits.

        2. re: jen kalb

          jen, the person who I intended to ask on your behalf is not available at the moment. Like Villasampaguita, I tend to load up on Japanese or Thai when in Milan, and alas I didn't like my most recent truly Italian meal there (on the Corso Como, but the name of the restaurant right now escapes me; the cuisine in Piemontese) . But if I have any thing relevant to share, I will return and post.

          1. re: barberinibee

            well I have til July so I will be patient and keep looking Thanks!

            1. re: barberinibee

              barberinbee, I'm looking for a good Thai place in Milan, what are your recommendations? I already know of a few great sushi places, but would love to find a Thai restaurant.


        3. I'm thinking hard here. Do you want traditional or trendy or some kind of mix of both? Are you ok riding the metro short distances?

          Right by the Navigli and about a block away from the Porta Genova green line stop, I enjoyed La Scaletta. They have an emphasis on fish but also have meat and risotto dishes. They have 45 euro tasting menu and the service was excellent. I played it safe and had an branzino with artichokes but I almost got the scallops with cauliflower and lavender. They have an excellent wine list. The food is presented creatively. The portions are not huge but definitely tasty. For two you'll spend about 80 euro.

          La Scaletta--Piazzale Stazione Genova 3

          La Scaletta
          Piazzale Stazione Genova, 3, Milan, Lombardia , IT

          1. jen, I would suggest to consider these three places. I have dined at all of them and would count them easily among my top 10 in Milan. The others are either more expensive than what I think you have in mind or require a car for access:
            CANTINA DELLA VETRA - excellent food, excellent atmosphere. Try the gnocco fritto for antipasto, any pasta dish, and the veal steak with juniper for mains. $$
            OSTERIA DI PORTA CICCA - most elegant of the three, tiny tiny restaurant with maybe 8 tables. Menu constantly changing, prices more elevated than Cantina della Vetra. $$$
            INNOCENTI EVASIONI - most experimental of the three and a bit harder to reach. Go for the tasting menu, makes most sense. Very ambitious chef, a newcomer. Prices similar to Porta Cicca. $$$.

            I hope this is helpful, greatgatsby

            1. thanks for those who contributed suggestions. As expected it was scorching in Milan and we wound up wearing ourselves pounding the pavements and standing in museums and churces. Our two lunches, at Latteria San Marco were absolute delights and a perfectly balanced end to a long trip where we ate too much.

              In the Brera district, this simple, inexpensive restaurant, a former dairy stores with about 6 tables and no bathroom (you are escorted to a neighboring building and given complicated key instructions) presents a simple daily market menu based on the vegetables and fruits available in the nearby San Marco street market and the owners own garden, as well as fine fresh dairy products and other local products. Food was of very high quality, or great simplicity, delicacy and deliciousness, moderate portions which felt just right, Both meat and vegetables but this would be an excellent stop for a vegetarian. They offered dishes with bulgur as well as the farro, and the longest list of contorni I have seen in a long time.

              Antipasti were mainly salumi; we had coppa piacentini and salumi d'oca (goose) on our two visits. Other dishes sampled (visit 1) were a cicoria salad with anchovy dressing, eggs cooked in butter in a silver dish, with bottarga, mezze maniche alla norma with fresh ricotta,a lovely little cream tart with a good crust and a touch of marmelade on top, and (visit 2) a mixed salad including paper thin slices of carrot and celeriac, along with the greens, and lemon rather than vinegar presented for dressing, testaroli with zucchini and small squares of a diced cheese, and warm farro garnished with beautiful mozzarella, sliced grape tomatoes and basil, Both of these last were wonderful dishes tasting of summer.

              As we were finishing our neighbor struck up a conversation and asked how we had heard about the place since he had never seen foreigners there (no English is spoken) I said it had been recommended by Fred Plotkin and, I thought, Slowfood. He told us he eats there maybe 20 times a year. Through him, I was able to ask the chef about the testaroli, which is a "spongy-textured pasta" that is cooked on a griddle and he confirmed that they are originally from the Garfagnana as I had suspected,. The owners are characters and not getting any younger, so I would encourage a visit if you are in the area!

              House wine is tasty - only gripe was the coffee - 6E

              ps the San Marco street market is very lively and recommended. It was open on Mon and not on Tues - dont know what its opening days are.

              Latteria San Marco
              Via San Marco 24, Milan, Lombardia , IT

              5 Replies
              1. re: jen kalb

                We couldnt handle large meals and were too tired to want to travel far so both our dinners were light meals, walking distance from our hotel.

                One night we went to De Santis on Corso Magenta and each had a panino from their huge assortment and a 6E glass of barbera, pricy but good. Other customers were mostly drinking beer. (thanks, Badwaiter) a good fresh sandwich that hit the spot.

                The last night we went to Rita e Antonio, a nearby neapolitan place, and had pizza. They had a lot of fish and seafood on display (looked good) and offered items such as moscardini but the prices were just a bit too high so we both had pizzas which were acceptable but no more, Their sangiovese house wine was good but I think I was the only person in the place who was not drinking beer.

                Pasticceria Marchese was close and a great place to pick up (at a fairly high price) elegant biscotti for my office mates. Its a formal store with a staff of older women and beautiful tradtional pastries. ps the biscotti were moderate in size and excellent. I looked around, at Peck, Ranieri and other places and never did find the kind of country bread that would hold up to travel. fortunately there was a supermarket in the Dusseldorf airport and I was able to buy a kilo loaf of crusty german bread to satisfy this desire.

                thanks for all the recommnedations on this an other threads!

                Pasticceria Marchesi
                Via Santa Maria alla Porta,11, Milan, Lombardia 20123, IT

                De Santis
                9 Corso Magenta, Milan, Lombardia 20123, IT

                Rita e Antonio
                Via Giacomo Puccini,2a, Milan, Lombardia 20121, IT

                1. re: jen kalb

                  For what it's worth, the olive oil producers Lucchi & Guastalli also make testaroli, which they vacuum pack. You can sometimes find it outside Liguria and northern Toscana in specialty food stores. It comes rolled up like a magazine, and lasts a fairly long time. It is wonderful with pesto.

                  I think of it as being particular to the area of Italy known as the Lunigiana, which fans out from the old Ligurian port of Luni (now silted up) quite near Sarzana, and creeps up along the old via Francigena -- close by but not quite the Garfagnana. The sweet small town of Pontremoli has a special reputation for it. Some say it is the original "pasta" of Italy, but I've heard that said about many dishes, and am not sure what it means anyway.


                    1. re: barberinibee

                      thanks, bb. it was wonderful to have a chance to try dishes Ive only read about before. I am thinking this is something I might try to make.

                      the orignal pasta claim sounds unlikely. The method is complex compared with other pasta types and the end result is fragile rather than something, like dried pasta shapes that will keep for a while.

                      1. re: jen kalb

                        I'm not sure the end result is so fragile if properly dried. The pasta is thoroughly cooked once, doesn't contain any eggs, and re-boiled before serving. Although the Sardegnan pane carasau (or carta di musica) is even more fragile, it lasts a long time stacked, and is immersed in hot sauces to return it to a soft, pasta like consistency.

                        Anyway, I really don't know how anybody could sort out the originality claims, but I have also heard that testaroli was around during the Roman empire.




                        By the way, there are a few non-pasta dishes around the Lunigiana that are called testoroli because they involve cooking with a "testo" -- a heated rounded stone or (later) a heated rounded iron. I know of at least one chicken dish around Sarzana that is cooked with a testo and called testoroli.