Ristorante Teatro alla Scala, Il Marchesino
June 10, 2008
In the last few years, opera has been one of our great interests, so naturally we had been wanting to go to the most renowned opera house in the world, the Teatro alla Scala in Milan. On the internet I was able to find two good tickets for La Traviata on June 3, 2008. The production was traditional, lavish and excellent.
How do you get to La Scala?
Attached to the left of the opera house is an interesting little upstairs museum with La Scala memorabilia. There was a temporary exhibition of stunning costumes worn by Maria Callas. Below the museum, with its entry under the brightly lit arcades, is the new Ristorante Teatro alla Scala, Il Marchesino. The last part of the name refers to its connection to Gualtiero Marchesi, a well known Milanese chef who now has a luxury restaurant and hotel in Erbusco, north of Milan. In order to keep our good feelings about La Scala going, we went there for lunch the day after the opera.
We were seated in the middle of the sleek modern dining room. There is also an adjoining café/bar with an informal menu. The restaurant has its own china with musical notes. The tables are well spaced and the noise level was low, although the restaurant did not fill up for lunch that day. The service is excellent. We ordered a bottle of 2004 Vietti “La Crena” Barbera d’Asti. It was delicious.
Linda’s first course was
Asparagi bianchi e verdi, uova affogato e scaglie di grana padano. Fresh seasonal asparagus were topped with a poached egg and slices of grana padano, a cheese similar to parmesan. The dish was simple, but nice.
My first course was
Spaghetti alla chitarra in zuppa di cozze e zucchine. This was excellent. Fat fresh absorbant hand-cut spaghetti were served in a broth of mussel juice with olive oil. They were topped with mussels and a julienne of zucchini. Note that only the outer edge of the zucchini is used; that is where the flavor is.
Linda’s main course was
Ravioli del plin ai piselli, code di gamberi saltate, sugo di crustacei. “Ravioli del plin” are small, with the filling added by hand and sealed with a tool called a plin. In this case the filling was a delicious purée of fresh peas. More peas were scattered about along with barely cooked shrimp and dabs of shellfish reduction. Excellent.
My main course was
Piccione arrosta, spinacini, pinoli e uvette ai profumo di foie gras affumicato. The legs of the pigeon had a lovely crustiness, but the breast slices were somewhat boring. The young spinach was fresh, but could have benefitted from some quick cooking. I did not notice any smoked foie gras flavor in the pine nuts and raisins as described.
The portions had been generous and so we skipped dessert. We had enjoyed a lovely lunch, continuing our fine experience at La Scala. Then we walked back to our nearby hotel, Le Grand et de Milan, where many opera stars have stayed.