Saturday, December 01, 2007

Postcard from Milan #1

I'm taking an overdue weekend away from the delights of Cambridge and from thinking/teaching about matters logical. Milan isn't at all my favourite Italian city (too big, too flat, too nineteenth century, too North European): but The Daughter is here, and the place has its moments. The front of the Duomo is almost revealed again after restoration and looks amazing. The shops in their way look equally wonderful (though it is mostly quite mad of course). L'Artigiano in Fiera is on at the moment, a huge fair, much of it showing off local products from all over Italy, including -- inevitably -- unending stalls of hams and sausages and salami and lardo and other delights of more variety than could last a lifetime. We were bowled over by the pride of the producers. Four people came back laden with porcine goodies.

And then there are the restaurants. Last night to La Riscacca Blu for the best sea food meal ever. Carpaccio of tuna and yellowtail and swordfish and anchovies. A salad of scampi and onions and tomatoes awash in oil. Then a very light fritto misto of scampi and octopus and squid and strips of courgettes. A pause. Pasta with red mullet. Then a whole turbot between four, simply baked but wonderful. Fine chardonnay from Alto Adige. Like many good Italian restaurants, the place looks nothing special. But it seems just impossible to eat like this in England even if you spend an absolute fortune and we didn't. (Our neighbours at the next table were a tough looking quartet of heavy-set guys, tucking in with great relish to a distinctly adventurous menu. It dawned on us that they must have been bodyguards for the minister of defence a couple of tables down.) So, when you are next in Milan ...


1 comment:

1000myths said...

I lived in Milan for almost ten years way back in the turbulent sixties. I should never have left and now, for many reasons, it's impossible to return.
It can be horrid in the fog/smog and sometimes it does get unbearable in August but oh, the food, the wines and La Scala! Not to mention the most attractive women in the world