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Antica Hostaria della Lanterna

Fresh pasta, Lombard-Friulian tradition and the supreme old lady, Paola

This little restaurant has two names: an official ones, which is Antica Hostaria della Lanterna, and an unofficial one, and that would be “La sciura” (which means, in Milanese dialect, literally: “The Lady”). Because this place is all her, it consists of her and her own soul: the owner Paola, a lady whose kind is a rare thing nowadays. Paola speaks mostly in dialect, if she sees that her guests don’t understand, she tries to translate but it is a stretch.  She’s very small, like her restaurant, always busy (we never saw her stopping for a second) and chatty with her guests.

The menù comes from the Lombard-Friulan tradition, its cornerstones are gnocchi with gorgonzola or pistachio pesto, rigatoni with sausage or the saffron-and-ham spaghetti. The pasta is rigorously homemade and whatever you choose to eat you have to at least taste it. Remember: avoid this place if you’re on a diet. The Antica Hostaria is all about ecstasy of the palate and of the carbohydrate.

Every dish is so abundant that speak for themselves. Second courses are no less good: an infinite line of beef braised in wine, beef thick flank with herbs, veal or pig thighs with onions or donkey stew with mushrooms. And if after all this you think you are full, you are mistaken. You can’t leave without tasting the tiramisù or the cooked cream. If you can try to share the dessert, portions are really generous, very different from the ones of the fancy restaurants. But, then again, if you came here, it wasn’t fanciness you were looking for.

When to come back? That’s the only question you’ll ask yourself upon leaving.


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