Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Milan Restaurants: Reviews & Recommendations


Recommended Posts

As I will be in Milan in September, I'm busily trying to take notes on restaurant recommendations. Anyone have anymore to add to this list? I'm particularly interested in restaurants serving food that's from the region.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...
We ended up at Cantina della Vetra via Pio IV, 3

02-89-40-38-43. It was great, very lively and wonderful food (but a tad slow service wise)

Is it this one

one, right? If it is the place I have in mind, close by to Piazza Vetra, I have been there some years ago...times I used to go to aperitivo very often :biggrin:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We ended up at Cantina della Vetra via Pio IV, 3

02-89-40-38-43. It was great, very lively and wonderful food (but a tad slow service wise)

Is it this one

one, right? If it is the place I have in mind, close by to Piazza Vetra, I have been there some years ago...times I used to go to aperitivo very often :biggrin:

Yes that is the place!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We ended up at Cantina della Vetra via Pio IV, 3

02-89-40-38-43. It was great, very lively and wonderful food (but a tad slow service wise)

Is it this one

one, right? If it is the place I have in mind, close by to Piazza Vetra, I have been there some years ago...times I used to go to aperitivo very often :biggrin:

Yes that is the place!!

A very small world. I ate there in September with friends from Milan (who'd picked the place). Web site with more details here.

Can you pee in the ocean?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 5 months later...
  • 4 months later...

Just been - he'll be lucky to find much open until September as it's holiday season at the moment.

In town, I tried Il Coriandolo which was a fairly good Italian restaurant with very large portion sizes. I really enjoyed the food there and it was what I'd call good quality for a business trip - not gourmet but your beats most hotel restaurants etc.

I also went to an amazing restaurante called Donizetti on 5 Via Gaetano Donizetti, 20017 Rho It was a 6 course fixed gourmet menu including Octopus Carpaccio, Veal Terrine, Veal Escalope, a traditional potato based pasta, smaller than Gnocci, sea bass, prawn risotto and desert. Probably wouldnt have ever tried raw octopus if it wasn't put in front of me but I'm glad I did. Note that they speak no English!

Edit: I found the phone number

Donizetti S.A.S.Di Clavenna Gianpaolo & C

Via Donizetti Gaetano, 5

20017 Rho

Tel.: (+39) 029304530

Edited by tkerby (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Let me ask some of my Milanese friends who are always bragging about the restaurants they know!

One of our favorites has always been Girarosto on Via Senato. It's old skool classic, but just wonderful waiters who've been there 100 years, and they make a single diner feel very at home.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Having just been there, oh, about a week and a half ago, I can only hope he's not going until September, as tkerby said above. It is a friggin' ghost town (I'm talking, like, 90% of all restaurants are closed...). Depressing almost, unless shopping brings you as much joy as eating (for me, not so much).

I did (and would recommend to) make a few meals out of trips to Peck (open August and closed only Sunday all day and Monday before 3:30pm), the gourmet food store. Their prices suck, I'll admit, but the quality is there. Their wine cellar is wonderful, their gelato fantastic, and even with a few trips, I was really only beginning to scratch the surface of their prepared foods, their meats, their cheeses, their baked goods, etc. The bakery Garbagnati, just a half block away from Peck, is also quite nice for breads and all kinds of sweets.

I was able to find one restaurant in the city that was open and didn't have the dreaded "menu turistico" sign. La Libera, Via Palermo 21, was quite an enjoyable meal for my last night in Milan. I had fiori di zucca gratinati stuffed with nice fresh ricotta and diced zucchini, and served with a thyme-scented crisp flatbread. Then risotto al salto, the classic Milanese risotto enriched with chicken stock and saffron, then cooked in a large flat pan until it loses its moisture. The result is crispy, chewy and delicious, like the bits that have stuck to the pan in a tasty paella. Dessert was gloriously fresh figs baked and served with warm zabaglione and warm chocolate sauce. Nice meal food-wise, thought the service there is absolutely horrendous, I must say.

I certainly wish your friend good luck. Definitely report back with his food finds!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, everyone, for some good leads.

Don't worry, he won't be there until early October.

I just think eating is important enough to plan ahead for.

I suppose I should expect him to do some work while he's there, too.........

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm sending a friend of mine on a business trip to Milan.  He'll take a couple of days around the work to dine.

What do people recommend?

For something a little tacky, but (I am told) with good cusine and real 'experience' value, allowing you to mix with 'la creme' of the beautiful Milanese crowd, there is 'Gold', recently set up by Dolce and Gabbana, the fashion gurus. It is a large establishment, not research cuisine, but top ingredients and classy presentation. Maybe good for lunch, plan around 40 Euros in the Bistrot and 80+ in the retaurant.

Of course in Milan a gourmet interested in haute cusine should consider a visit to the multi-starred Carlo Cracco Ristorante. Cracco is one of the most talked about chefs in Italy. Plan to spend a lot.

Il Luogo di Aimo e Nadia (1 Michelin star) also has very good reports, an elegant setting with elegant cuisine, around a 100 euros.

For a much simpler and less expensive place, very intimate and with simple, good Sicilian cuisine, you can try: Merluzzo Felice di Milano, Via Lazzaro Papi, 6. I have actually been in this one more than once and have always felt happy. The desserts (cannoli) are luscious. Book in advance as the place is small.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...

Nov-Dec 07 Milan

El Crispin, via Castelvetro 16/18, Milan, 02/33103004, closed Sundays, has two knives and forks in the Michelin, but that’s not why we came; we came because after spending 5 wonderful hours in the Frankfurt airport, surely much worse a place than LAX and JKF - which were my prior most hated ones, d/t the Italian transportation strike, and reaching the hotel at 6 PM, Colette said enuf! Find a place nearby. So I made a tour de block and found what every eG member who writes me wants the first night: a good resto no more than 5 min from their hotel. In this tour I found two salumerias/formaggerias, one enoteca, one beer place, one Mexican, one Chinese and three interesting looking Italian places. On looking them all up in the food guidebooks, El Crispin came out first. The amuse bouches were fried (looking like cod but not) balls of ham forcemeat (I’m sure a Lombardian specialty) – terrific. Then we had more or less in succession: wonderful slices of bresaola with parmesan (Colette & they swear; I say grana or aged asiago) on great rocket; mixed veggies grilled topped with a tad olive oil; and a branzino with porcini mushrooms (it’s still Fall, no?) – perfect. The bread (esp. the foccacio) was very good, the house Cab/Sangiovese from the House of Banfi quite good and the bill a very easy 53 E (a la carte, no “menu”, 3 dishes, one bottle of wine and water, no coffee or dessert).

Come back? If in the nabe, that is, the Fiera, sure, but maybe it could have been just another first day in a country phenomenon.

The Mensa, at the Mario Negri Institute, via Giuseppi la Masa 19, Milan, open Mon-Fri and weekends during meetings. The amuse bouche was a platter of mortadella, those leftover pieces the locals consider not much of a much, but they were splendid after a morning of lectures. For a first I chose a salad of great, fresh, spicy chopped radicchio with awful, pallid, pathetic tomato slices; no dressing, OK. 2nd: an incredibly horrible macaroni/lasagna thing with a side of contradictorily wonderful warm/hot unadorned spinach. Fruit: clementines. A fine split of red wine, a half-liter of water and a doppio espresso ristretto, rounded it out. The bill = 2.20 Euros (Disclosure: my reduced-price meal was in exchange for a brilliant contribution to a roundtable. Average citizens might have to pay 6-8 Euros.)

Come back? This is a bargain place with not bad cafeteria food. Why Not? Plus the nearest resto is at the Milan Triannale, 300 meters away, which actually didn’t look half bad.

Addendum: We did go back the next day to the Café at the Triannale and I had a super ristretto.

Il Cortese, via G. Cherandini, Milan, 02.345.92.908, closed Sundays. I don’t know about you, but I dread Congress dinners – gaudy places, fawning staff, awful food, iffy companions and zippo wine. So why did Colette and I go? Ans: Because it was:

- free

- expected

- not badly rated

- not too far a walk.

Ecola. We arrived late (well, that’s an oxymoron in Italy); sat down, and were urged to try the slightly fizzy (Asti?) white, switched immediately to a Sicilian red – fantastic - and ate much too much good bread. Then came a cavalcade of antipasti: (oh, did I mention that this was a seafood place?): fresh anchovies (that I insisted were lisettes – wrong) in a tasty batter – 5*; calamari with tomatoes (cold); calamari with brown sauce and polenta (hot); poulpo with salad and potato; and the piece de la r……….”, salmon cru with fennel seeds – at this point Colette, ignoring our French and Italian neighbors/colleagues/friends said “this is pretty good.” Then my friend/etc., on the right talked about his summer house up North on the border, the wines and cheeses theereof - and presto I had a bottle of Sfursat 2003 in my hands. The pasta arrived: homemade (of course) with you guessed it calamari, shrimp and garlic (and what I insisted were bits of rabbit or pork or veal – No!, nonesuch! said my pals and the owner) Then a millefeuille of swordfish/tomato/eggplant/etc. – gorgeous! Finally Colette had a divine chocolate mousse/etc. and I a micro-waved apple tart that I thought was gold or at least silver, standard but Colette said was not as tasty as hers in downtown Milan today (while I was working to pay for the trip- Oie!)

Come back? Have you ever walked out of a place with more money than when you walked in, except for ATM’s and drug houses?

La Quercia, via Molina 1, Somma Lombardo (eg Malpensa),, closed Tuesdays was right next to our last hotel (First) of this trip and had one knife and fork in the Michelin whereas the First’s Eagle had zip. Mistake. In brief: great owner/staff, wonderful fishy menu, fine wines but poor food. They gave us two amuse bouches - both fried: cheese balls and fish balls. OK. Then we split a risotto Milanese and pasta with tough seafood – blah at best. Then I had rocket salad and Colette had rocket with tomatoes. OK. Then I had roasted calamaretti which were OK, no more; getting the picture? Finally, we shared a flan – best dish there. The bill with two pastas, two salads, one main, wine and water but no coffee was 60 €.

Go again? On my death bed.

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
I need a great restaurant, not too austere, price is no object.12 people (all food professionals) are in the group

Here are the top scorers for Milan in the latest Gambero Rosso; asterisks are Michelin stars:

Cracco (92 points) tel +39-02-876774 **

Joia www.joia.it (84) *

Il Luogo di Aimo e Nadia www.aimoenadia.com (86) **

Sadler www.sadler.it (84) **

Il Teatro de l'hotel Four SEasons www.fourseasons.com/milan (83)

Trussardi alla Scala www.trussardiallascala.com (84) *

I can't really advise about austerity, but I can tell you that Aimo and Nadia personally radiate warmth. The one time I went there, years ago, with my husband, I was writing an article but was not telling the restaurants. All evening Aimo was all over us, try this, try that, sweet as pie, while there was a movie star, Renato Pozzetto, who is huge in Italy, in the private dining room next door. Finally, after we'd paid the check, I asked him if he knew I was writing for the NY Times in that we had gotten more attention than Pozzetto. Aimo looked hurt and said, oh Renato comes here all the time, but you were new and I wanted to introduce you to my cuisine. He sent us home with our petits fours, which we'd been unable to eat, in a doggy bag. And yes, the food was fabulous. Sadler is a cooler cuke, but his food is very good and he's perfectly nice. Don't know Cracco at all, but hope I get the chance to try it.

Maureen B. Fant


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cracco is probably of most interest to chefs. I was more impressed with my second meal there a few weeks ago than I was with the one a couple of years ago. If sea urchin is still at its peak time of year, the kidneys served with it would be a remarkable choice. I loved it. Sea urchin also is part of his flagship spaghetti with coffee and sea urchin that we ordered both times, although it wasn't as memorable this time. It's cooking at a very high level and a good 40-50% less costly than comparable restaurants in Paris.

As an aside, the best veal chop Milanese I ever had is at Trattoria del Nuovo Macello, a restaurant I adore. The chop comes in a brittle, oily bread casing that shatters when you cut into it. The risotto Milanese is perfection as well. It's a delight to be there as everyone is amazingly friendly. I'll keep going there every time I'm in Milan. Call ahead and ask if the veal will be available. They have a web site.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

On a recent visit I had an opportunity to eat at some new places.

Pane e Tulipani 2 blocks way from the Stazione Centrale was a traditional ask-the-concierge what’s the best pizzeria around. The place seemed packed with men, all of whom looked to be working guys, many with ties, which was not surprising for a joint located near the train station hotels. I started with a huge mixed salad that was quite good despite the hothouse tomatoes, a respectable pizza with funghi and prosciutto that was also huge, and a bit of house wine and dry grappa for 29.50 E.

The Trattoria Milanese on the practically unfindable via Santa Marta, a Slow Food Guide rec near the Duomo that has racks of wine bottles, the top shelf of which are covered in dust – impressive! Once again, it was almost all men, almost all tie’d and almost all of whom clearly considered this their watering hole and drifted in and out to dine at shared tables. I had two artichokes “done in a pan,” a description that didn’t tell me much, followed by tagliatelles with funghi, made like pasta should be made. My bill with wine and a spot of grappa was 43 E.

L’Osteria del Treno on the via San Gregorio was another Slow Food place. I arrived at 8 PM; big sign – WE DON’T OPEN TIL 8! OK, walk around the clock and enter. Pix of locomotives, cool. Menu with *’s for Slow Food Protected items, cool. Men with ties who work entering, cool. Order Slow Food stuff: mixed spicy salami stuff from Vasto etc – it’s Slow Food Killer Food with lotsa fat and salt. Then a pasta with guinea hen ragu, quite, quite fine with their own cheese (not parmesan (hey, it’s Lombardia) and pepe.) With the usual (w, w, g + no c) it’s 33.60 E.

The Latteria San Marco at via San Marco 24, yet another Slow Food choice. I entered about 12h15 and the Maestro (Artur) was finishing his lunch and nicely but clearly said – “we serve at 12h30” but his wife Marie seeing me dripping with rain, beckoned me in, saying well at least you can sit and order. I know their names because there are several portraits of them on the walls, notable a takeoff of Bellini labeled Sir Artur and Lady Mary. The menu was a bit of a puzzle, with dishes named for localities and things I didn’t recognize. The chef indicated that the Asian guy would translate and while he did speak a few words of English, no one spoke French or German and my Italian books didn’t help. In any case, I ordered tagliatelles with a ragu Scopinich (which they jointly declared was made with tomatoes, olives and capers) – terrific. Then I had the calamaretti which were marked on the menu as coming with rosemary, but to which he hurriedly added in pen – in argento, showing all assembled the solid silver pan which was supposed to banish all acidic flavor. It was also quite good. Then, after asking the front-staff if I was having a main, he brought me out – making dumbshow gestures showing it was on him - a platter of mixed vegetables (incaolata alla Leviglianese) that included carrots, cabbage and other root vegetables, again very good. At that point, knowing I was going to dine with my manic Bolognese colleagues who were having a “research dinner at a noisy restaurant,” I should have called for the check, but I craved some cheese, so with a bit of wine, Pecorino, coffee and grappa, I got out with 47 Euros damage.

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 years later...


We ate Fabio Baldassare’s food a few years ago in Rome at L’altro Mastai. The food was quite good although the service was a little too formal for my taste. He is now the Chef at Unico in Milan. We needed lunch, we were staying nearby, so off we went.

Unico is on the 20th floof of the world join centre, not far from the San Siro, so not particularly close to the centre. We went at lunch. There are a number of menu options from lunch with a glass of wine and possibly water and coffee for e25 to a twelve course menu surprise at e120.

The lunch menu here and in another (more expensive) place we enquired about comes as one plate with four items served at once, then dessert, not in the more logical starter, main, dessert format. I don’t know why they choose to do this. I did eat a meal served in this style at Joia in Milan a few years ago. I don’t see the point.

We chose the six course tasting menu. We were initially sat with a view towards the city but I noticed that the Chefs table was available so we asked to move. There is no supplement for the chefs table and it probably seats six people.

Unico chefs table.JPG

So, the food.

First came raw tuna, fine vegetables and a little dressing. I don’t make any notes and as some items were described in Italian I don’t have all items described fully.

Unico - Tuna and vegetables.JPG

Second plate was a single scallop with some soft cheese, hazelnuts and a mayonnaise flavoured with passion fruit.

Unico - Scallop.JPG

Next came vitello tonnatto. A couple of slices of veal fillet served with tuna sauce. The veal was good and the tuna sauce was quite light and frothy.

Unico - Vitello tonnato 2.JPG

The next plate was gnocchi. This came with potato cream with cheese.

Unico - Gnocci...jpg

The final savoury course was to be smoked turbot. I love turbot, I don’t love smoked turbot. I asked to substitute the turbot for John Dory. This was not a problem. I did taste a little of the turbot and was glad I made the change. I do much prefer smoked bacon, and like smoked haddock, but turbot, no thanks. The turbot plate was enjoyed; it was just not for me. It came topped with sun dried tomato skin and a vegetable “soup” as sauce.

Unico - turbot.JPG

My John Dory came with a very good bouillabaisse style sauce. Good flavours, good beans and very good fish. Both fish were cooked sous vide then given a quick blast under the grill.

Unico - john dory.JPG

Dessert was a coconut ice cream, mango parfait, sponge and tapioca concoction. I can’t say I was overly impressed by the sponge although the other flavours and textures were nice. I think I saw someone doing a similar sponge on Great British Menu recently in the microwave. I don’t know how this one was made.

Unico - dessert.JPG

Good double espresso’s and petits fours followed and an enjoyable lunch was had.

Unico Petits fours.jpg

Price wise (for Milan) this restaurant is not that expensive, for the quality. The chefs table is a good place to sit if you are interested in seeing the cooks working away, you can face the opposite direction and see the view if you prefer. The sommelier chose us a nice bottle of white, I think wine prices started in the mid e20’s and rose. Service was good; moving tables, changing the set menu etc was no problem. I quite enjoyed watching the kitchen too.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Al Pont De Ferr

This is a quite interesting place to eat. Lunch prices start at about e10 for pasta or salads and if you pick this menu there are carafes of wine available at very reasonable prices too. There are a few menu options at lunch, we went for the small tasting menu on this occasion.

We were in two minds what to do on Monday and contemplated a return to Lake Como or a visit to Bergamo and a last minute email to Da Vittorio but we decided against these options in favour of Al Pont De Ferr.

We walked from Duomo and booked a table then went for coffee and for a stroll. The area (Navagli) is a bit of a mixed bag, some bits quite nice others not so.

We ate

Amuse of chilled carrot puree like a thick soup in a small cup. This came with a lozenge of olive gel type stuff filled with veal and tuna. Both items were good.

First course was The Candied Version of The Red Onion Of Tropea. This is a very impressive looking creation. Inside the “onion” was a warm mousse of goat’s cheese and a little sweet onion. The base was described a bread, it didn’t add much taste wise, but provided a base and good colour contrast. Really very good.

Al pont de ferr - Red onion of tropea...jpg

Next came a little Ox Fillet Sashimi, Shaved Foie Gras, Béarnaise and Umeboshi Plum. Quite a simple plateful but tasty enough, the raw stuff always seems to have a lightness that cooking removes.

Al pont de ferr - Ox fillet, foie, bernaise...jpg

Third plate was Homage to Pasta. It was dried pasta wrapped in fresh pasta with a filling of light cheese and decorated with flowers and liquorice. It could have used more sauce or liquorice for me but I ate the lot without any complaint.

Al pont de ferr - Homage to pasta...jpg

We asked to change the breaded veal for the more interesting sounding Pigeon dish. We ate pigeon at another restaurant on this trip so thought it would be a good comparison.

2012 Pigeon breast cooked in a ball of salt served with cherries and foie gras.

Al pont de ferr - pigeon...jpg

This was a really excellent dish. The pigeon was cooked through but retained plenty of moisture, the sweet cherries had been stuffed with salty anchovies and the foie was dusted with quite bittersweet coco. Really enjoyable.

Al pont de ferr pigeon. cherries. foie...jpg

We were given our choice of dessert. There were quite a few intriguing options but we went for The Game and The Ginkgo Biloba Tree.

The game was made of edible Lego. Some chocolate, some fruit, some nutty and some good ice cream too.

Al pont de ferr - The game...jpg

The Tree came with the flavours of Sicilly. Good sugar work, some granita, some meringue type thing and a fruity not quite ice cream.

Both were visually striking and both were tasty. We shared. We left nothing.

Al pont de ferr - Ginko biloba tree...jpg

Service was good. They spoke better English than my few mangled Italian phrases, so we mostly understood what was going on. Booze prices are quite reasonable, especially when dining from the lunchtime set menus.

I wouldn’t hesitate to return here. The menu had lots of things I wanted to eat and the very inexpensive lunch options make it especially good value, however the more creative cooking is probably worth the premium. We sat outside in the warm shade. The only downside to this was when the person sat at the next table, but only inches away, lit his roll up. Not great. Sit inside if you dont like smoking. That aside I would happily eat my way through the menu given the chance.


Link to comment
Share on other sites


  • Create New...