Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Restauranting - Milano

A week or so in Milano

I attempted to combine this with my main Milan post (Oh where is My Hairbrush?), but realized the food was getting excessive...or maybe I ate excessively...so I figured I would separate out the important, from the anecdotal. :)

The hardest thing to do when traveling in Europe is to pick places to eat, as Yelp users are infrequent in Europe and TripAdvisor, while more used, tends to come from tourists...and I don't really want a tourist's opinion on what is best in the city.  Although, I think I did pretty well though, and only had what I would consider a 'miss' once.

My favorite place is a bar my coworker and I popped into during the Italian/British football match...the owner was nice to get us some wine and meats while the game was on (I'm sure he cursing us tourists) - it was called Ronchi 78.  The meat and cheese plate was simple and tasty, the wine perfect (Verdicchio), and while the chicken was a little overdone, the veggies and sauces in the 'stew' was great

Meat Grill - where I had a very frothy (and tasty) Spaghetti Carbonara.  I blame my coworker for wanting to eat at a place called "Meat Grill", but walking around the Duomo, non-touristy restaurants are harder to find.
Osteria Al Coniglio Bianco - in the lovely Navigli canal district - which was my area favorite, despite the man-eating mosquitos (and subsequent swollen feet...).  I had a great melon/prosciutto appetizer, but a dry pounded/breaded veal - note to self, picking a rando-restaurant in a touristy area is always risky.

Mag Cafe - Classic cocktail bar in Navigli, the night was alive with people and the football matches were projected on big blow up screens, so the atmosphere combined to make this a fun spot to stop.

Vun - A lovely Michelin starred dining experience with a Seattle friend - everything was amazing, and the sommelier picked wines like it was her job :), and I always love the 'free' chef tastes they give at these types of restaurants (I even got a 2nd taste of the chocolate/ice cream one! The collage to the right shows the 'free' food).  Our meal consisted of (1) 'Caprese...Sweet Salted', (2) 'Dumplings, smoked eggplant, flying squid, pecorino, lovage', (3) 'Lamb, courgettes 'roasted and escabeche', pine nuts, aclla cress', and (4) 'Gianduja and raspberries' for dessert (pictured in order below):
Osteria Ippodromo - near work, but a classic 2 hr Italian lunch (sliced, raw sardines and salmon; a mixed bag of seafood; an entree of fish ravioli), complete with 'piggy' marocchino coffee and a Sardinia liquor - Bresca Dorada Mirto di Sardegna.

Rebelot - where I made friends with an Italian makeup artist and a couple architects, the girl invited me to hang out at a party the next week, friend requested herself from my phone, but sadly, she never accepted.  Either way, I enjoyed a 3-course chef's choice meal (of pounded eel w/ cherries, fish with melon, and fried sweetbreads), and some shared wine, meats, and cocktails to round out the evening (and then got semi-stranded when the metro stopped running at 12, but finally was able to hail a cab while waiting in the rain, although I did debate whether I could walk home or not...mostly cuz I couldn't get any drunk guys to help me, the only suggestions they were able to make were suggestive remarks).
Cova - in the Montenapoleone shopping district, where the men in the cafe wore tuxes, I ordered a Negroni, got a side of puff pastries and a marocchino espresso to boot.  Also, had a man ask for my number, give me his, and his fb name...and then creepy text - multiple times, of his love for me.  Don't worry, he stopped when I did not respond.
Convivium - While wandering just outside the Duomo square, I came across this little gem - and had pesto/potato/gnocchi/green bean pasta (a specialty in the Cinque Terre area), with some wine, a strawberry tart dessert, a cappuccino, and a complimentary digestif.  I also escaped the rain shower :).
Cinc - Which I only had cocktails at, but made friends with the bartender who thought that #JamieBoudreau was the shit :).  There my coworker and I had some Milano/Torino aperitivis - containing: il malanese Bitter Campari ed il torinese Punt e Mes si incontrano al Cinc.  I finished my coworkers drink... hmm either he is wimpy or I'm an alchy... or both.  While we only had cocktails here and some ok pasta a block away, we were given a great suggestion for dinner the next night!
 Il Liberty - A quiet place for a Monday night, but in a new-to-us neighborhood, where you kind of had to know what you were looking for and had to ring a bell to be allowed entrance.  The food was more modern-Italian style, though don't hold me to that as a type of food :).  The menu has changed a bit since we were there, so we'll go based on my memory.  We had tartar, what appears to be a take on tomatoes and mozarella, apparently an un-picture worthy entree?, but some tasty smoked chocolate cigar dessert!

A quick trip to Lake Como

Just a couple place to visit when in Como or neighboring Bellagio.  Some of the places I visited were Antica Darsena (no photos, the wait staff were lovely, and the hotel looked high class, the food was good but apparently not memorable enough for photos), Fresco Cocktail Shop (the old fashioned at a classic cocktail a bit of a walk from the waterfront), Osteria L'Angolo Del Silenzio (the saucy dish, 2 doors down from the cocktail shop, the food was good, but maybe a little too old school style for my liking), and Aperitivo et Al (eggplant lasagna and maracchino, a sweet little wine store that I found after wandering and being quite hungry in Bellagio - I jumped on the ferry north - without food and the ferry happened to be the slow one that took 2 1/2 hours).  And all I have to say, is that I'm grateful for all the walking you have to do while in Europe, otherwise, I would be a 'piggy Natalie'.