One of the reasons I was excited to come to Milan was because I absolutely love a few of the traditional Milanese dishes. Risotto milanese and veal milanese can be found all over the world, and I have always wanted to try the real thing. After a slight delay on Geoff's flight, we embarked on a late dinner at Antica Trattoria della Pesa (near our hotel around Porta Garibaldi).
Antica Trattoria della Pesa is a true old-school joint... it opened way back in 1880. It's been serving the same thing for the past century - Milanese classics in their truest possible form. I could tell things haven't really changed much here based on their huge reservations book that looks like a thick wine list that belonged in some old library. I think it's places like this that would stop OpenTable from taking off in Italy. The restaurant is definitely on the tourist radar, though my guidebook says that Giorgio Armani and Carla Sozzani are still regulars. I don't think they were in the house with us, but the locals seemed to outnumber the tourists while we were there.
White truffles are now on menus everywhere, and we just had to have a small taste. We split an antipasti portion of the eggs (so we got double the pictured amount for our 25 euros). The golden yolky eggs were scrambled beautifully while the white truffles absolutely took over. There is really nothing in the world that tastes like white truffles, and the combination with eggs is a perfect match.
Next up, we got 2 pastas to split. First was this simple tagliatelle with porcinis. I really love porcini mushrooms, and I'm so happy when they pile on big slices as they did here. The noodles were a good al dente. Yum.
The famous risotto alla milanese looked beautiful. Gleaming and golden, it's no wonder the dish is frequently used to symbolize the wealth of Milan. This is certainly one of the best versions I have ever had, tremendously fragrant of saffron and rich with bone marrow. The risotto itself was cooked perfectly.
This imposing piece of meat is their rendition of the classical veal milanese. They're so serious about the dish that they don't give you any lemon to squirt, and consider it blasphemy to suggest the very idea. Clearly, they believe the meat stands on its own. The cutlet is actually wafer thin, pounded diligently and evenly before cooking. The breading is light and greaseless. A superb version of one of my favorite dishes.
Sadly, by the time we got to dessert, it was too late to try their zabaglione. We settled for this very standard creme brulee - solid all around but nothing spectacular.
Overall, I'm very happy that I ate here - I satisfied all my Milanese cravings, and I'm confident I got some of the best preparations of these dishes short of having an actual Milanese grandmother. Go without hesitation if you're looking for risotto and/or veal milanese.