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Memorable Meal in Milan at Tre Cristi

fress | Jan 26, 201605:16 AM

I'm not sure if anyone reads Chowhound anymore, but for the sake of the nice people who run Tre Cristi in Milan (and for posterity) I wanted to extol its virtues. We've always eaten well in Milan - Aimo e Nadia a couple of times (brilliant three years ago, not so much last year), Nuovo Macello (very good), Antica Trattoria della Pesa (ditto) - but our dinner last week at Tre Cristi was the best we've had there (and much better than any we've had in NYC in recent memory).

Located just off the Piazza della Repubblica, Tre Cristi is a small, elegant room with widely spaced tables and a large window providing a clear view of its kitchen. As soon as we sat down, we were brought an amuse - a delicious, slightly warm egg custard flavored with chiles served in a shell; this turned out to be the first in a series of small (and not so small) dishes gifted by the kitchen to augment the traditional three courses we ordered. We were amazed by Tre Cristi's generosity - and by its chef's creativity. And what's more, our amazing shared pasta course of risotto with mussels, the sweetest ever roasted tomatoes from Sicily, milk foam and pecorino and our main dishes of cod w pesto, leeks, and potato and fried eel w vinegar jelly and tempura kale (a delicious riff on fish and chips) were ample; this was not one of those annoying (to us) tasting menus where you only have one or two bites of each course to savor until you are served the next.

I will list the entirety of what we ate, as best we could remember after staggering back to the hotel punch drunk on the food (and the bottle of superb Francois Bedel champagne, priced below NYC retail at €78). The asterisks indicate dishes we ordered:

Egg custard w chile in egg shell
Vegetable empanada and milk croquette
Fried gnocchi cacio e pepe
Two sliders bites: salmon w mustard & scrambled egg w chicory
Sweet potato cream w anchovy and hazelnut dust
White & purple cauliflower and romesco with bernaise sauce and focaccio
bread & grissini
*Steak tartare w cream of anchovy/salmon sashimi w salad and sesame oil
Ravioli with braised beef
*Risotto with mussels, roasted tomatoes from Sicily, milk foam and pecorino
*Cod w pesto, leeks, and potato/Eel w vinegar jelly and tempura kale
*Pistachio and milk ice cream served with ramekins of cherries, raisins in anise, ground pistachios, dried figs, amaretto syrup, and mint
Ginger semifreddo w chocolate biscuits
Cookies and chocolates

We were at Tre Cristi for almost three hours and had a wonderful time discussing the food with the young and friendly maitre 'd and waiter (who it turned out also selected the wines on the excellent and fairly priced list). The bill was an extremely reasonable €225, to which we added an extravagant (but richly deserved) €75 tip. A truly memorable meal!

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