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Milan dinner recommendations?

marthak Jan 16, 2014 05:23 PM

I have looked on these boards, through books and on blogs and am having trouble choosing 4-5 dinners in Milan, any help we can get would be much appreciated. It seems as if every magazine, blog and post recommends different restaurants.

We are from SF and love lots of flavor that comes primarily from the freshness of seasonal ingredients cooked beautifully, and preparations that allow ingredients to shine. We enjoy finding restaurants with talented chefs while traveling, but do not want to pay more than $200-250 for dinner for the two of us and would be happy to pay less :).

We are not looking for Asian or burgers this time around. I love risotto and although I don't know if Milan has wine bars with amazing chef-y appetizers, if they do, please share! We loved Dans les Landes in Paris and read about that restaurant in Paris by Mouth and a few other great blogs. Does anyone know similar blogs in Milan or the region?

Any suggestions are much appreciated. Thank you in advance! My husband and I will be staying at the Enterprise Hotel near the Milan Convention Center, and while most of our dinners will be the two of us, one dinner will be in a larger group and another will be with us entertaining his boss who LOVES great wine and impressive food.

  1. m
    marthak Jan 29, 2014 02:33 PM

    Update: We ate at BYS in Milan for dinner and it was really good. Its adventurous, but also well prepared. I tried a grapefruit risotto with shrimp --- yes, it sounds off putting but I was really looking forward to the citrus and it was lovely. My main was lamb with yogurt and a small pastry of roasted garlic. Also wonderfully prepared and tasty. I think this was our best meal in Milan so far.

    1. j
      jnwall Jan 17, 2014 09:24 AM

      We highly recommend Nerino Dieci Trattoria, (http://www.nerinodieci.it/), the great discovery of our trip to Milan last year.

      The restaurant is on Via Nerino, a hard-to-find side street off the Via Torino, a few blocks from the Duomo.

      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.

      5 Replies
      1. re: jnwall
        marthak Jan 18, 2014 07:34 PM

        I saw this restaurant reviewed and am very interested, too, especially since you loved it! Thank you so very much. Did you find anything near any of the canals?

        1. re: marthak
          DavidT Jan 19, 2014 09:31 AM

          Al Porto is a seafood restaurant in the canal district that has been in business for close to 50 years. It is located right on one of the street car lines (the #2, I think).


          1. re: DavidT
            marthak Jan 29, 2014 02:02 AM

            Thank you, David! We have been in Milan this week and its been an up and down food experience. All restaurants have been friendly, generous, with impeccable service. But rarely have we gotten great food except dessert which is consistently outstanding. La Locanda Gatto Rosso in the Galleria was pretty good - although like most restaurants the seafood is prepared to a degree of doneness past what we prefer in SF. We also tried a number of Trip Adviser restaurants with less success. Prime and El Barbapedana both have wonderful hosts, generous to a fault and while the food is good, it is not prepared in a way that I prefer. The prevailing view in Milan I believe is to cook it a bit too long and oversauce for my taste. I am having a wonderful time, but would like to experience one evening of perfectly cooked food in more of a farm to table SF style. Is that possible here?

            1. re: marthak
              jen kalb Jan 29, 2014 06:29 AM

              Here is one restaurant you might want to look into

              Here is one blog you might want to survey - there are extensive discussions of the food scene including Milan restaurants in their archives

              for risotto, you might want to consider da Abele

              good restaurants in Milan will use the good market vendors/local producers - I think your issues are more with style of cooking than with sourcing of ingredients

        2. re: jnwall
          marthak Jan 29, 2014 02:40 AM

          @jnwall: I noticed you ate at One in Chapel Hill, anything like that kind of dinner in Milan? I really want some farm to table food and am not sure if I can find that in Milan. Any suggestions? Any help you can give me is very appreciated! Even if it is to say, respect the way Milan prepares dinner, get a nice bottle of wine and just "go with it" :)

        3. d
          DavidT Jan 16, 2014 05:35 PM

          Based on your research so far, which restaurants interest you?

          1. m
            marthak Jan 16, 2014 05:24 PM

            We also got some great help here from blogs for a trip this past summer to Berlin - had some amazing food in that city!

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