Milan’s Golden Cuisine

The term “Golden Cuisine’ may refer to the 14th century custom of sprinkling food with gold leaf or maybe it suggests the colour of the  traditional ingredients used in Milanese cooking – butter, cheese, saffron and cornmeal. It does not refer to the cost of dining out as compared to other Italian cities, but it might.

Fortunately, while the bill may be higher than it would be in Rome, you’re not likely to feel cheated. Milan diners demand the most unctuous risotto. the freshest of fish, the tenderest cuts of meat. And they are prepared to pay for it, around €165 per person at Michelin two-star restaurants like Cracco ( near the Duomo or Trussardi alla Scala ( in the 19th century Palazzo Trussardi on the Piazza alla Scala. Diners at more modest restaurants, such as the small family-run Ristorante Papa Francesco, a very short walk away from Trussardi at Via Marino 7 also expect value for money. The bill here may be less than €50 but there are seasonal specialities and the bread is fresh from the oven.

Milan does offer one outright bargain in food. It’s called  ‘Happy Hour’, and in this city the hour stretches from 6:00 to 9:30. For the price of one drink, roughly €9, customers may help themselves to as much as they want from a buffet typically featuring pasta, risotto, meat, cheese and salads. The Navigli area  (photo, above) is the best bet for the widest choice of buffets and the trendiest Happy Hour atmosphere. The most popular drink is the Negroni, equal parts Campari, Vermouth and gin.



This article first appeared in Eurotimes

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