Dining Report -- Milan, June 2012
We were in Milan for 4 days in June and had a number of memorable meals in the City Center and the southwestern neighborhoods of the city.
L' Isola del Tesoro (http://www.isoladeltesoro.net/) was recommended by our hotel nearby, and turned out to be a large neighborhood family-oriented ristorante with excellent pasta and seafood.
In the Galleria in the City Center we ate extremely well at La Locanda del Gatto Rosso (http://www.lalocandadelgattorosso.it/) and had a serviceable risotto Milanese at the Camparino (www.camparino.it/), where they claim Campari was invented (and it may well be true).
On a day trip to Lake Como we ate at the restaurant in the Locanda Milano hotel in Brunate, well worth the trip up the funicolare above Como. They serve a wide range of polenta dishes, also local perch.
Back in Milan, we also ate at l'Assassino, a high end ristorante (http://www.ristorantelassassino.it) with splendid decor but mostly empty tables. The food was an inventive, deconstructed, small-portions take on Italian cooking, food as fine art, which is not the kind of Italian cooking I like.
If this appeals to you, go soon because this place was empty when other places nearby were full.
The find of the trip for us was the Nerino Dieci Trattoria (http://www.nerinodieci.it/), on Via Nerino, a hard-to-find side street off the Via Torino.
We liked this place so much we went twice. Both times it was packed, the food was fabulous, the staff helpful, and the overall experience absolutely first-class.
Yes, except please do not ask me to do it in Italian.
The first night we had for our antipasti a serving of grilled sardines and one of seafood salad with pears and arugula, then for the primi, trofie pasta with a pesto sauce, and for the meat course we had small pieces of grilled beef wrapped in strips of bacon with leaves of an herb, maybe bay leaves, between the bacon and the beef.
The second night we had an antipasti of gnocci that had been fried so each piece puffed up, and was served with a piece of parma ham on top and also a serving of bruschetta with tomatoes and basil. For the primi course we shared a serving of buccatini with pepper and bacon sauce, and for the meat course we had a beautifully-prepared grilled fish with asparagus on the side.
Hope this helps.