Need two recommendations in Milan
I'll be traveling with my 6 year old daughter to Milan for a couple of nights. One of those nights we'll be able to eat with her dad too, but one we'll be on our own. She's used to dining out and is well behaved. Looking for places with great food but not stuffy atmosphere. Most helpful would be in the area of the Duomo (I'm guessing most places in that area are pretty touristy, but if something comes to mind I'd love to hear about it), and near our hotel, which is just south of city center (near Parco Rivizza and Piazza XXIV Maggio supposedly, and I believe near the University). Money is not an issue if the place is wonderful. The only real restriction is that I do not eat red meat. Other than that we're adventurous eaters. Thank you very much in advance for any information you can give me.
I can see that you have asked for help with dinner, but I do want to tell you that quite near the Duomo, there is a wonderful vegetarian MAINLY LUNCH place inside a very characteristic old, small food shop where every customer is doted upon by the proprietor and his wife (the cook), so I suspect a six-year-old girl would be the absolute queen of the day. It is a pinspeck of a place with shared tables, and were you interested in going, you would need to be there fairly early. It is alla Vecchia Latteria, and according to this website, it has begun to extend is hours to include a bit of live music on some evenings, in addition to serving lunch (what might be served in the evening, I don't know).
I haven't a doubt in the world your daughter knows exactly how to behave in a resturant (I did when I was six!), but in case this hasn't been mentioned to you before, dinner in Milanese restaurants begins at 8pm, and even in informal restaurants, the pacing between courses is slow. Fortunately, because Milan is a business town, you can find other options for earlier light meals, and food served during the cocktail hours. (If your daughter likes sushi, Milan is a fun place to eat it).
I very frequently pass along this website to people posting on Chowhound about Milan not because I can vouch for the food recommendations in it, but because it describes restaurants in a lot of detail, and the restaurants described generally favor a very informal vibe and affordable price, which is what a great many people passing through Milan (even those over 6 years old!) want. The website is youth-oriented, so I hope it has some recommendations for places near your hotel and the university that are good for non-meat eaters:
Thank you so much for your post barberinibee. You make excellent points about the whole timing (start and length of meal) issue. We'll have come from 4 days in Barcelona, so she may be used to the late start by then, but I really don't want to have to have her sit and sit and sit. A bored 6 year old is not a fun 6 year old, well behaved or not.
I love the look of alla Vecchia Latteria. Maybe we'll try to do lunch there, although I'd really prefer to have dinner be our big meal and just have gelato for lunch : ) But it looks really good. I'll check the website and see if I can find something in our general vicinity. The mapping portion so far doesn't look as helpful as one could hope. Need to find my guidebook and see if that helps. You've helped a lot, and I truly appreciate it.
My daughter and I made it to Vecchia Latteria and truly loved it. Simple wonderful food. Both got pastas (penne arrabiata for me, and a pasta with olives, capers and tomatoes for her) and shared a cabbage roasted with 2 cheeses, which was absolutely wonderful and melty. Thanks so much for the recommendation. It was a great lunch for us (we didn't need any dinner).