Last week I had lunch with a friend at Milano on Grand Ave. in Oakland. The original Milano Restaurant is on Hollis in Emeryville in the middle of what used to be an old industrial area. It's always been a classic style Italian place with all of the red sauce standards like you might find in an old neighborhood in Chicago or New York.
The Oakland location has been around for 10+ years. It's a nice place for a leisurely lunch or dinner and the food is generally very good; a mix of Northern Italian and CalifQ. I've always been pleased with the service and quality of the food.
I had chicken breast with prosciutto and some kind of mild white cheese in a marsala sauce. The chicken was very thin and brazed so that it was browned on one side. The prosciutto and cheese were also served thin. Marsala sauce can be cloying or bland. Everything was well balanced.
I had a mixed green salad with glazed walnuts and gorgonzola. The dressing has usually been very good and the gorgonzola great but this time both were... eh!
I also had a side of polenta. I love GREAT POLENTA! Milano's isn't quite great but it's very good. They have an appetizer of polenta served on a large flat dish with mushrooms sauted in marsala sauce and a grilled quail. You can leave the quail off for my part but...
The wine list is Ok and the service has always been great.
I needed a treat, I've been on the road a lot lately and in the last month I had 2 of the worst meals I can remember. Japanese food in Huntsville, AL and Indian food in a strip mall place in Sacto. Yuck!
In Sacto, I violated Shep's 1st rule of eating out: Never eat anywhere that advertises more than one type of cuisine! This place had Indian, Chinese, Mexican, Italian, hamburgers & sandwiches. The chicken masala resembled post processed dog food. Oh well...
Happy Hunting to the Pack, Wolf