Thursday, November 27, 2008

Ponte Rosso

Via Panfilo Castaldi, Milan, Nov. 26—
  • Ponte Rosso, Ripa di Porta Ticinese, 23, Milan; tel. 02 8373132

  • PROBABLY THE BEST meal of this trip so far was today's midday dinner at a Slow Food recommendation I'd noticed in Osterie d'Italia when I peeked into it yesterday at a bookstore. It was also mentioned in The Best of Milan, a small guide we actually bought at the time, so I called for a reservation this morning, leaving my request on the answering machine; the restaurant called back, unfortunately while I was in a museum — causing my quick eviction from the gallery; I'd forgotten to turn off the phone.
    The kitchen is small; the recipe book basically Neapolitan, many of the dishes historic, from Artusi's mid-19th-century collection. And today's menu was a delight to behold and a hard one to choose from.

    Lardo del Val d'Aosta
    We began with a plate of lardo, uncooked fat bacon aged in salt, dressed with chestnuts in light syrup. I went on to a gattò, a molded rissole, you might say, a shell of cooked spaghetti filled with deliciously flavored minced meat, half of it lightly veiled with a thin Béchamel sauce flavored with white truffle.

    Lindsey had a veal cutlet Milanese style, breaded and fried, served with sweet young arugula and perfect tomatoes; and we shared a gratinata of potatoes and artichoke, covered with a fontina-type cheese and passed under the broiler. Dessert was a perfectly correct Tarte Tatin. I'd like to go back tomorrow.
    Bianco da tavola in caraffa; Dolceto di Ovada nv

    LATER, ANOTHER HIGHLIGHT in our continuing quest for gelato: Gelateria Grom, in the via Santa Margherita behind the Galleria. I had my usual (when riso is not available), fior di latte and crema, and they were very fine indeed, the best gelato I've had on the trip, I think, though Lindsey still favors the Gelateria Gracchi in Rome. Grom makes a big point of being buono, pulito, e giusto; good, clean, and correct. Their sorbetti, for example, are made with Lurisima water; their fruit flavors respect the seasons; the dairy ingredients in my two flavors were clearly honorably produced; the eggs come from a single organic source in Piemonte. Delicious.

    No comments: