Eating well in an elegant and refined bistro in the centre of Milan, almost in the Duomo’s shade, can be done. Here you have the San Maurì. In the street with nearly the same name, Via San Maurilio, that intersects Via Torino (with Corso Buenos Aires, it’s the most common destination for shopping), you’ll find two shop windows with the menu of the day written outside, on a blackboard that reminds you of an elegant tavern.
Inside, the atmosphere has an old vibe: we are in an historical convent from 1500, renovated obviously, but the vibe has remained intact. Antique stone flooring, delicate embellishments on the stucco of the ceilings, old wooden work tables, open-plan kitchen, shared counter, and a continuous coming and going of people. The food is divine, the menu offers fresh seasonal produce, excellent and chic at the same time. The produce used comes from the farms of Parco Agricolo Sud, to make the most out of the land’s resources. And it’s quick: tell me what you desire more for you lunch break, where every day you get to taste a different menu.
In the evening the pace is a little different: the menu, more refined, changes once a month, the sounds are more measured and soft, and the atmosphere is perfect for an unforgettable candle-lit dinner. Being a true Milanese, I love risotto. At the restaurant, I usually do not order it. Because, even if I could bear eating overcooked pasta, I really can’t stand a bad risotto. Here, it’s excellent, I’ve tried many: creamy with Fontina and a Barbera reduction, with 4 cheeses and pepper, with saffron and seared sausage and, I assure you, perfect digestion.
The best dish was the ravioli, rigorously homemade, with a cotechino filling, on a bed of lentils puree, with raspadura (shards of Grana cheese). The octopus was great as well, and so were the Sardinian gnocchi with basil pesto and salty ricotta, the hamburger their way (healthier but just as tasty), the knife-cut tartare of the organic Limousine cow meat from the Bordona farm, the fried anchovies, and the mozzarella in carrozza.
Do you still have a little space for the dessert? Of course. You can’t miss their tiramisu served in a glass or a light sorbet. Try it! It’s worth it.