I’ve been in Milan now for a few days on business. Most of my meals have been fruitlessly tossed away in search of the perfect pizza Margerita or on light meals trying to keep my ample stomach from being, well, more ample. Last night this time so I went to dinner with some clients tonight in Milan. It was a warm evening and the sky was cloudless. A bit humid, but a sweet Italian night if there ever was one.
My clients chose the location and it was outside of the downtown core. This initially disappointed me as I was looking forward to a real Tuscan dinner in a nice location near the Duomo. I took a taxi to the restaurant and was not exactly thrilled when I arrived. Outside is a residential area and the front down is beside a small gas station,….very unimpressive. At this point in time, I must tell you that this was, one of the best Tuscan dinners that I’ve every had. The place was called Antica Trattoria Il Borghetto, in Northern Milan (Via Comune Antico, 1 just in case you are interested). The view was unimpressive until you walk into the door….what a HUGE change…..You walk into a small lobby area and you can already see a very large and charming Italian courtyard in the middle. Absolutely lovely and inviting! In the middle of this courtyard was a large (25 foot) table FILLED with antipasti. Every type of antipasti was represented, vegetable, fish, meat, etc along with some I could not even recognize. One of the stations has a piece of Lardo that was as big as a piece of proscuitto. It just melted in your mouth,….beautiful, and the meat stand…wow, amazing. All the veggies, the fish, the marinated garlic, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc,…. I would need many plates in order to try a little of each. Dinner consistend of a Florentine Porterhouse that was the size of my head, plus some potatoes, and beans, and etc. What a steak. and desert, etc,.. great food. If you are in Milan, worth a trip.
Okay so the wine. I can’t remember the Brunello I ordered except it was a 97 and it was amazing. But the second bottle, a 2001 Gusto di Norti, Tua Rita, what was stunning. The wine was very deep in color, black almost, no sign of aging, the nose was very attractive, very complex, current, peppery, minerally, and slightly sweet herby. The wine itself was very dense, but not thick, slightly sweet finish and was incredibly well structured. It is made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc but like a good italian wine, there is a nice acidity behind it. It is an elegant and powerful wine. Nice stuff!
Dinner was finished with a bit of grappa from Secolo that was ethereal. I like grappa but I love this one. Light and elegant, not rough and course. Of course, they wanted to finish dinner with some Biscotti (fresh, i mean just out of the oven) and vinsanto. Vinsanto from Tuscany. I tried to tell the Italians that Vinsanto was from Greece, specifically from Santorini as I had been taught by a very educated and well respected Forumite. The Italians laughed, and laughed and laughed. Of course Vinsanto is from Tuscany, what do you mean Greece??? More laughing ensued. I tried once more to defend this Greek right only to recognize that it was a benefitless exercise and give into the sweet summer Milan night.
Sometimes life is just so worth living.