Since the European Wine Bloggers Conference was in Brescia, Italy during October we went a week early to check out Italy’s great food and wine before the conference started. Our travels took us first to Milan. We chose a hotel in a residential neighborhood. Upon check-in at Hotel Mozart, Piazza Gerusalemme we told that the neighborhood restaurants were not only good but their prices were reasonable. Needless to say, we took time to check out the neighborhood restaurants during our stay.
Despite jet lag we took lunch the first day at Ristorante La Foglia, a Mediterranean style restaurant, on Via Mussi. Not only was the service good but also so was the food. We started lunch with a Caprese Salad to share. It was made with a wonderful buffalo mozzarella, basil and sweet tomatoes, with extra virgin olive oil and great balsamic vinegar. For lunch we ordered capresse style pasta and spaghetti with clams. Our wine was a DOCG Chianti Classico Massi. That night we had wine and pizza at Harmnium Cafe, Via Saronno.
Next day, we walked to catch the metro to the train station where we bought our train tickets. We stopped for lunch at the Jazz Cafe, Corso Sempione. For lunch we ordered Caprese Salad and Proscuitto Salad. We also ordered Prosecco and sparkling water to drink.
Dinner that evening was at Le Pietre Cavate, Via Castelvetro just around the block from the hotel. Le Pietre Cavate serves wonderful Tuscan style food. The waiter started dinner with an apéritif of sliced meat for John and an tomato bruchetta for me. We ordered a Funghi Polenta as an appetizer and a 2009 Bonarda DOC Conti di Gambarana wine. We had liked Bonarda wines in Argentina and so why not in Italy. We discovered that the Bonarda that we ordered was Fizzante (sparkling red wine) not the one we are familiar with. It was great with an appetizer but not with dinner. For dinner we ordered pastas. John’s was fettuccini pasta with shrimp and calamari and mine was pappardelle pasta with mushroom sauce. We skipped dessert and had gelatos on the way back to the hotel. After all who can refuse gelatos in Italy.
We enjoyed our food and wine experience in Milan. We would return to this Milano neighborhood and restaurants like Ristorante ” La Foflia” (Mediterranean style Cuisine) and Le Petite Cavat (Tuscan style Cuisine). These restaurants are two great dining options at fair prices. The hotel staff was right. We also had two great breakfasts at the hotel where we stayed. The food was sure different at our Milano Best Western Hotel Mozart compared to most of our generic hotel breakfast experiences in North America.
All too quickly our two days in Milan passed and we headed south to Naples on the fast train. Since we had a week before the conference we were off on a quick trip to explore wine and food in Southern Italy. If your travel plans include Milan check out the following online sources for things to do in Milan:
1. TimeOut Milan lists 20 things to do.
2. YahooTravel lists 25 things to do.
3. About Italy Travel lists top tourist attractions.
4. whyGo ITALY lists top 10 things to do.
5. Tripadvisor lists top traveler recommended attractions.
6. Viator provides a list of tours.