Monday, October 6, 2014

Milan Great Eating Experience

We were in Milan for 3 nights and had a reservation at Ristorante Cracco.  We met Carlo Cracco at Eataly NYC 2 years ago.  He was a fill in at the Scoula and paired with Michael White. We did not know who he was at the time but his Restaurant in Milan was highly rated and has  2 Michelin Stars.  Two years later while watching TV in Rome we discover he is Rome's Gordon Ramsey and the lead guy in MasterChef Italy with Joe Bastianich.  Cracco's is a Modern restaurant and as with any restaurant of their rating, formal.  As you walk in you realize that this night will not be easy on the wallet but you also realize that this is a night that you will not forget soon.  We were seated in the lower level with 5 other tables nothing closer than 12 feet away, there were several people dedicated to our area including the floor captain.  As with any pricey restaurant there are two menus, one with prices and one without.  Guess which one I got.  You can go two ways at Cracco's you can go with the Fixed Price menu with 10 courses and wine pairings for $300 pp or a la carte.  I always go a la carte because I do not get served something I will not want to eat.
Little Finger Food to Start

At Cracco there is no shortage of Amuse Bouche servings.  As a warning if you do not buy a bottle of wine the per glass charge is $50, WOW.  Our first Amuse Bouche was some delicately baked rice chips with saffron, herbs, shrimp flavors.  Much more delicate than the shrimp chips you would get in a Japanese market.  Served with the chips there were several finger foods one with Salmon, one with Pate, one that was a Black Squid Ink sponge with herb and an Olive Souffle.  Everything we started with was light, delicious and tested the palette.  
Pumpkin Gazpacho
Next came a chilled pumpkin Gazpacho with flavored salt and a tiny bit of stone ground mustard and depending on how you ate it the taste could be vastly different, JoAnn got too much Mustard the first time, I think I got mine right. 

Seafood Flan
We were served a Seafood Flan with 3 different flavor components each one slightly different in texture and if you did not like the flavors of the Mare it was a tough bite. What was very unique though was that on top it had these very tiny Langoustino Roe that popped with every bite.
Risotto Broscando
Finally we get to something that we ordered I had the Bone Risotto with Saffron.  The Risotto was cooked perfect but the Bone Marrow had been roasted and did not break up and melt like I wanted it to, it remained a little chunky and I believe it missed the mark a bit.  JoAnn ordered a Risotto Broscando (Wild Asparagus) with Scallop that was dusted with a very light paprika. Now hers was a home run with all these different flavor components.  There was the great taste of the wild asparagus, a little heat from the paprika and a perfectly cooked Scallop on the top.
Cocoa Pasta Cooking Shell

Our Secondi was Turbot for two, it is prepared in a pasta casement that is flavored with Cocoa and Sea Salt from the Mediterranean which creates a steamed fish that is infused with the salt and the Cocoa absolutely delicious.  The fish was served with some french beans and tomato it was light and delicate with hints of Cocoa.
Passion Fruit Souffle

Tiny Dessert Presents

Dried Fruit chips
To cleanse our palette a Grape Sorbet with very cold grapes and topped with a tiny purple flower.  this was again and extraordinary taste and texture contrast and prepared our tongues for the awesome desert Souffle coming up.  Our Passion Fruit Souffle was presented prior to the addition to some steaming cream poured in the middle which actually made the Souffle grow.  The souffle was light and had the tart and sweet taste of the Passion Fruit. A great way to finish but.. The meal continued as the last little present was brought to the table.  An assortment of sweets including cocoa dusted hazelnuts, and white chocolate covered almonds, small Pralines and Macaroon and the biggest surprise very thin dried fruit chips.  The chips were very light and contained immense flavor.
Overall the meal, service and presentation were quite memorable. Cracco is a top 50 restaurant globally and deserves to be in that great company.