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Antica Trattoria del Gallo

A must-visit temple of food and hospitality, located just outside of Milan

The Antica Trattoria del Gallo is a must-visit temple of food and hospitality, located just outside of Milan.

We find ourselves in Gaggiano, a town inside the Parco Agricolo Sud, which seems to be suspended in another dimension. Traveling along the canal that leads to  Abbiategrasso offers truly unique glimpses of houses that face out on to the placid waters of the Naviglio canal, making for idyllic and picturesque snapshots.

Then there’s the countryside. That authentic, foggy – almost hazy these days – countryside. It is an invitation to take a break, rejuvenating and welcoming in a trattoria like those of days gone by. The Antica Trattoria del Gallo is truly an “antique.” The red iron sign that reigns above the entrance says that the restaurant dates back to 1870. Paolo Reina, a born host with kind ways and sincere eyes, has managed the restaurant for about 20 years now. Accompanying him are his partner Laura who works in the front of the house and a staff of smiling young people who work with precision.

My first time here, I fell in love almost at first sight. The first time I saw the wine cellar with the floor made from the wood of the cases from the most prestigious wines, I understood the type of person Paolo is. He is a man who really gets down to things, a man who is curious and cultured like few others, passionate and impassioned. His cuisine is an uncompromising mix of research and tradition. Here you can find the highest quality ingredients prepared in an excellent way.

Antica Trattoria del Gallo

Dishes like the famous “deviled chicken” (and you must absolutely eat the crunchy, flavorful skin) will make all things right in your world. Here you will also find “sautéed yellow risotto” and “Milanese cutlet.”  These are traditional dishes from Milan that won’t disappoint. The wine list is almost enough to make one blush for its beauty and honesty: prestigious vintages that are extremely rare,  larger bottles and many labels from small artisanal and natural wine producers. Here it’s about research as well. Painstaking research.

This restaurant offers a typical osteria atmosphere. Soft, pastel colors and tables with wooden chairs. There are many decorative roosters all over the restaurant, from the counter at the entrance to the shop – yes, there is a small corner here with many delicacies that you can buy and take home – or used as the centerpieces on tables. For almost a year now, the wonderful wine cellar has been renovated to be used for private events for select few. In the evening, it offers a magical and enchanting atmosphere.

If you come in the spring, you will surely want to make use of the shade from the American ivy on the gorgeous outdoor patio for a truly dreamy experience. A place that is impeccable for its quality, courtesy and atmosphere, the Antica Trattoria del Gallo has been recognized as one of the “Premiate Trattorie Italiane.” These are historic, old restaurants honored by people and the passing of time. It is neither fashionable nor trendy, but all gourmet food aficionados have it in their hearts and on the tips of their tongues.  The call of the Gallo (rooster) can be heard from morning to night (from Wednesday to Sunday!)… Don’t miss it!

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