Dining in Milano, Italy: L’Angolo di Casa
On the first night my husband and I were in Italy, we happened upon L’Angolo di Casa, an upscale restaurant located just around the corner from our stay in Milano. L’Angolo di Casa was small but inviting, warm and smelled heavenly. The staff was friendly and patient in communicating with us in what little Italian we knew.
As with all Italian restaurants, a large basket of fresh-baked breads was plopped on the table first thing, followed by a bottle of sparkling water. No one drinks tap water in Italy, it is all bottled, and most people order frizzante (sparkling). We decided to share a three-course meal, including the antipasti (appetizer), primi (first course) and segundi (second course). Being in Northern Italy, the menu was very much focused on seafood, given Milano’s proximity to the Ligurian coast.
To start, we ordered a fantastic bottle of wine from one of Italy’s most well-known producers: Gaja. Although we didn’t splurge on order one of the $300+ bottles of Barbaresco or Barolo (I wish!), we were still very satisfied with the quality of Gaja’s 2014 Cremes. This wine is a unique Langhe Rosso (red wine from the Langhe region in Piemonte), a blend of 50% Dolcetto and 50% Pinot Nero. A soft-textured wine with gentle tannins and bracing acidity, this red-fruited beauty was the first wine of our trip and a very tasty one at that.
For the antipasti, we ordered a seafood platter that consisted of a succulent crab cake, tender shrimp with a sweet/spicy aioli sauce, flavorful poached fish with pickled onions and a tasty bread crumb-crusted clam. It was a lovely way to start the meal.
In Italy, the primi course is pasta (or risotto in Milano); we ordered the ravioli served in a sage butter sauce with crushed pistachio. The ravioli was served al-dente and had clearly just been made fresh that day. I love the way fresh pasta tastes supple and flavorful. The ravioli were filled with a classic ricotta and spinach duo, fresh and tasty, while the sage butter sauce brought richness to the dish. Those crushed pistachio added nice nuttiness and textural depth. A splash of pesto around the edge of the plate also brought the dish an extra layer of flavor. Simply delicious.
For the segundi course, we chose to head back to land and ordered the steak served in a gravy, topped with foie gras. This was one of the most tender pieces of steak I have ever eaten, cooked medium-rare and so succulent in the mouth that it almost melted like butter. Speaking of butter, the gravy was incredibly rich, like butter, and full of umami flavors in its almost mushroomy-like savoriness. The steak was absolutely covered in this gravy and on top were two hearty slices of grilled foie gras. I have never had grilled foie gras before and I very much enjoyed the crisp-seared edges, while the inside was soft as ever.
This was a robust segundi, so we unfortunately did not have room for dessert. But given that this was our first dining experience in Italy, I’d say it went fairly well. The food was incredible, the wine was top-notch and the service couldn’t have been friendlier.
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If you’re a wine-country foodie, Santa Rosa’s new City Garden Doughnuts & Coffee is sure to have popped up on your radar. With its grand opening today on National Doughnut Day—June 2—City Garden is primed to bring locals and visitors the highest quality doughnuts they’re ever tasted.