Food, food, food. Forget the museums, forget the cathedrals, travel is about eating and drinking. Milan is the perfect place to do this.
I’ll go meal by meal, but this happened over the course of two days.
Breakfast at the park Hyatt Milan is nothing special. The nice part of breakfast is sitting in the atrium relaxing. The lobster caviar omelette was good, but the rest was typical.
If you’re looking for a quick bite, head to Spontini for a slice of pizza and a beer. It’s the best deal in town. And, unlike the rest of the pizza spots, this one actually cuts the pizza slice for you.
Bottle of wine
I wouldn’t call the trattorias in La Galleria a tourist trap, but the restaurants aren’t cheap. The pasta and pizza were good but nothing special. Tomato and wheat can only be prepared in so many ways. The reason you should pay the premium is to people watch. It’s fascinating to see people from all over the world carrying bags from purchases at these designer boutiques. Who can afford lavish shoes for $600 and even if they could, who would buy them?
I’m wary of asking fancy hotels where to go eat. First, they usually recommend a place that’s too upscale. It seems they feel that the price of the meal must commensurate with the price of the night. Next, nice hotels have the same ‘go-to’ place where they send guests. As such, when you arrive at the restaurant, all you will find are other tourists. This makes you call into question the authenticity of the cuisine and whether this is another tourist trap.
We were told to go to Solferino. Because we made a reservation through the hotel, we received a complimentary chauffeur from the hotel. That’s a nice touch but also a warning sign that this restaurant is not for locals. When we arrived, I scanned the restaurant patrons. My ears quickly caught the accent of Americans. That’s another bad sign. My ears also heard the sweet voice of Bocelli. Uh oh, if I know the music in Italy then this can’t be good.
Before bolting for the exit, we were seated. I perused the wine list and the prices ranged from 25 euros to extortionate. The food was not so expensive, but it was not the bargain of Naples. We followed the recommendation of our waiter and started with the eggplant as an appetizer and the spaghetti seafood carbonara and rigatoni for dinner. Next, I selected the wine. The first bottle was 50 euros which quickly led to a second bottle that was the same price. After dinner came tiramisu and espresso followed by the moment of truth: the bill.
For 188 euros, we enjoyed great food, a fun atmosphere (discounting the presence of tourists), and superb service. Having said that, if you’re looking for a place with authentic food, my friend from Milan recommended Latteria di San Marco. I foolishly asked him where to go after I had eaten.
If you are still hungry and want simple but divinely prepared Italian food, head to Le Capannelle which is located on Viale Papiniano, a great name for a street. They have a full menu of pizza, pasta, and wine that won’t break the bank. We ordered the four-cheese pizza with ham, pasta with tomato sauce, and a bottle of white.
Go to the gym, fatty.