I recently started a new job and my office is very close to the opera house La Scala in Milan. This made me feel obliged to check out the famous and stylish restaurant Trussardi alla Scala and its little brother, Trussardi Café. In this post, you find the restaurant; the Café will follow soon.
This restaurant opened in 2006 with Andrea Berton as Chef de Cuisine. It became regarded as a leading restaurant by the Milanese gourmands, and gained 2 Michelin Stars and 3 Forks/91 points at Gambero Rosso. After disagreements with the owners, this summer Berton officially left his role as director and Chef de Cuisine. The Master Chef Carlo Cracco became the official manager and director, and to replace Berton he brought the young Luigi Taglienti, who had made his mark as the Chef de Cuisine at the restaurant Antiche Contrade in Cuneo.
Facing La Scala, the location of the restaurant is already exceptionally charming and the faultlessly modern and simple style of the dining room creates the perfect atmosphere. If you have a reservation for two, you will most likely seat next to the window. Take a look at the view we had from our table!
I visited this restaurant with WJT on the lunch break of my first day of work, when they offer a menu for 55€. The menu includes 4 dished served all at once, and a dessert served after – all of which makes it quite handy for lunch as one should be able to eat relatively quickly and go back to work.
As we sat, we were offered some appetizers. I have to admit that they were nothing special. But you will be happy to hear that this was the only flaw. Especially the very thin crackers were a bit too dry. The slightly thicker ones were more buttery, so the consistency made up for the relative dull taste.
The lunch menu changes every day. We had Risotto alla milanese with saffron and ginger, scallops alla milanese on pomegranate mousse, pork with potatoes and a cold caponata (pictured below, clockwise from bottom right). The waitress told us what was the best order in which to have the dishes.
PS: Some of you might have noticed that this picture is the background picture of the blog!
The risotto was the most impressive dish of our menu. As a Milanese, I have been eating risotto for a lifetime and finding anything that really attracts my attention is not easy – but this one did just that. The ginger brought something new to the dish, without tasting so strong as to cover the saffron – which of course is the master of the dish and mustn’t be wiped out by other ingredients. The rice was very well cooked and very al dente. Overall an interesting choice of ingredients.
The scallop were also extremely fascinating. They were fried exactly like a cotoletta and you would have thought, from the perfume and from the first impression you got when having them in your mouth, that you were actually eating cotoletta. Then, when biting them, you would taste sweet and soft scallop. Stunning. The pomegranate mousse was very fresh, giving fruitiness to the dish, so that it would not be heavy at all, notwithstanding the fact that it was fried.
After these two perfect dishes, I thought nothing would have satisfied my expectations. But I was happy to find myself being wrong. The pork was extremely tender, with fat that would melt in the mouth making the meat utterly tasty. The potatoes were crispy / very well cooked. The foam on the dish was made with rhubarb and it was quite bitter. That was the only part of the dish that I did not like, being it too bitter for my taste.
The final dish was just something to refresh the mouth: caponata made with pickled, instead of cooked, vegetables. I was not a great fan of this as I did not find it very outstanding. Being the vegetables pickled, you could not taste much of a difference between each other. Anyhow, it was quite pleasant to finish eating with something fresh and I got the point of having it as last course.
Here you see a happy me enjoying the food and waiving.
WJT had a glass of wine, Fiano di Avellino. I thought it was wiser not to have wine myself, considering that I still had to go back to work!
Dulcis in fundo, the dessert of the day was, variations on peach. The presentation was very pretty, but being allergic to peaches, I cannot tell how it tasted.
These were just some complimentary desserts. On the left, almonds covered with chocolate powder. Crispy at the first bite, but turning creamy in the mouth. On the right, various samples of delicious desserts – I really couldn’t tell which was my favourite!
So, what can I say? Overall, I was very impressed. Certainly a good way to start off the first week of work. What I liked the most about this cuisine is the creative reinterpretation of typical Milanese dishes. Tradition and innovation were the twin protagonists, neither taking over the other. I expected no less from Mr Cracco, who seems to have done a great job by choosing Mr Taglienti. I am very curious to know how the gourmands will comment on this young and talented chef.
Should you be around La Scala at lunch time, you should definitely pay a visit!
55 €: Tasting menu (available for lunch only, on week days)
130-190 €: Tasting menu (available for dinner as well)
Trussardi alla Scala
Piazza della Scala 5 I – 20121 Milano