Curious in Milano

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This year’s Easter escape had to be somewhere where there was no need to take a plane, so we ended up in Milano.

YIMG_4601ou might be expecting for Milano an account of solely Italian restaurants, but with my peeks I want to surprise you, so I am going to start telling you about a restaurant with incredible Chinese food.  If you are fond of ChMaoHunan3inese cuisine and don’t have personal issues about eating in a restaurant called Mao Hunan (Mao Zedong being a native of Hunan), you will love this place.   My friend and I also liked the crockery they had, and they were so kind to tell us where to get it!  They are specialized in Hunanese dishes, and their menu is not short.

 

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This was my first encounter with specialties of the Hunan region.  I have to admit that I was a bit skeptic until our order was served, and we were just delighted with the delicious plates that came from the kitchen:  The steamed dumplings, the soup, the sauteed dishes served on a hot mini-wok, the fried rice noodles; the whole was just a flow of incredible freshness and flavors.  Although the taste was different to the Cantonese style I am used to, the clearness reminded me the way my mother used to cook for us.

MaoHunan1Tips:

  • Be aware that Hunanese food can be hotter than Sichuan. Ask the staff for advice as they also have non- or less spicy dishes.
  • Book online; the place is busy.
  • 5 min (350 m) walk from Metro Loreto (M1-M2)
  • From Metro Loreto you can also head to Corso Buenos Aires for casual, affordable shopping.  Corso Buenos Aires with 1.2 km long and over 350 stores is one of the largest shopping streets in Europe.

 

Now in the city center, a few steps of the Duomo but on a quiet street, be prepared to travel in aIMG_4670 time machine and be back in the Sixties.  Yes, you have arrived at Risoelatte, and you won’t regret.  The hosts have inspired themselves in the 1960s to recreate their small restaurant, and they have succeeded.

But it is not just the setting what makes this place special.  It is the food and the hospitality what impress the most.  They offer authentic Italian dishes served the traditional way.  Each order is freshly prepared, and they really care about using seasonal products.  Every day there is a new lunch menu, depending on what is found fresh in the market.  Eating here feels like being invited at friends’, who are happy to have you around and want to spoil you with culinary talents.

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Being artichoke season in northern Italy, I couldn’t resist trying an artichoke salad, it was just amazing; I loved it.  I also have to say that I had the best veal chop Milanese I have ever had in my life.

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My hIMG_4664usband had octopus, which was tender and perfectly cooked, followed by Puglian style pasta, so simple and still so delicious.

Their specialty is, of course, ‘risoelatte’ (rice pudding).  It looked really good, but I was already too full to have one; be sure,  I won’t miss it next time.  We finished our meal with a digestif liqueur on the house and the intention of returning soon.

Tips:

  • IMG_4667Coffee is brewed and served in original moka pots.
  • Book online; the place is busy.  If you are not more than two, ask for one of the two cozy tables next to a window.
  • 3 min (250 m) walk from Metro Cairoli (M1) or 8 min (700 m) from Piazza del Duomo

 

 

 

IMG_4640Taglio, I felt I had to check this all-in-one spot:  A deli of Italian products, café, bar, restaurant, located on the thriving via Vigevano in the Navigli area.  Here you come to get a good coffee, to buy some fine salami, to enjoy a meal, or to have a drink after work.

I liked their concept a lot:  simple and clear.  The walls are just exposed red bricks.  On one side, the deli counter with a fantastic selection of salami, hams, cheeses, bread; all those Italian products that one loves.  On the other side, the bar for drinks, coffee, and smoothies.  The modern open kitchen is at the back, and they produce delicious seasonable food.  Quoting them:  Non cercate il pomodoro a dicembre! (Don’t look for tomatoes in December!). They have a small, appealing menu for lunch and dinner, and they also serve breakfast. It seems to be that the poached egg benedict is everybody’s favorite.  The bio products that you can buy — from pasta to tea and fresh lemons — are all on display on open shelves, creating a special atmosphere.

IMG_4634The tables in the center invite you to sit down and order something.  So that’s what we did.  We started with an aperitif.  The barkeeper brought the Aperol spritz in one of those swing top bottles—pretty cool!  Before having dinner, we decided to wander along the Navigli canals to see a bit of it by night.  As expected, lots of bars, lots of restaurants, and lots of people.  I was glad we had our table booked at the relaxed Taglio.  The staff was really professional and friendly.  We ordered and enjoyed the Italian way.

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The highlight was for sure the beef tartare, incredibly tender Piedmontese beef finely chopped (not minced), subtly seasoned with anchovy oil, capers, and a light mustard cream.  Just amazing!

The pasta dishes were also natural, light, and rich in flavor; delicious!
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I also tried one of the coffee specialties, a IMG_4641filtered one.  A totally new experience in Italy …

 

 

 

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Tips:

  • Call to get a table. They only accept reservations by phone.
  • via Vigevano, a revitalized street with design and pop-up stores, as well as unconventional restaurants, cafés, and bars, worth seeing.
  • 4 min (350 m) walk from Metro Porta Genova (M2) or 6 min (500 m) from Porta Ticinese
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