Milan Eats: bistro fare at San Maurí
Last year during Design Week, I came upon this cute "bistrot"-type restaurant. Big windows looked into a cozy interior, no tablecloths, casual, a simple, seasonal menu. Reviews looked good. But of course it was fully booked for the evening.
People can be surprised, but sometimes eating in Milan during Design Week can be a rather un-inspirational experience. You're walking from one place to another trying to see as many shows as possible, so you prioritize convenience and speed and pick up reheated pizza on the go. Or you decide to sit down, but the restaurants are completely packed.
This year, as I arrived a couple days before the start of Design Week, I got to San Maurí early in the evening and asked if I could have dinner. They said yes!
I got a little table tucked away in the corner.
As an appetizer for all tables, they scrape cheese off of a huge wheel of cheese onto these plates. I had to watch the table next to me to know that you just pick it up with your fingers (kind of crumbly) and eat it just as is.
For my first course, I chose the "bottoni" - button-shaped ravioli with cod, olive, onion extract. What a pretty dish! It was good, but the pasta was a big hard (beyond al dente).
For my main course I ordered the pork belly with celeriac puree. The tube in front looks like a hot dog, and I thought it was a hot dog, right down to the pinched ends. But turned out to be a grilled carrot!
For dessert, I tried their version of tiramisu - tiramisu with coffee ice cream instead of marscapone. I like tiramisu, but this seemed a bit pedestrian for a restaurant of this level.
In the end, I was so happy to have finally dined here. The food didn't wow me, but it was good, and the service was earnest and excellent (and in English): good description of preparations, thoughtful recommendations. In a city awash with restaurants from so-so to wonderful and at all price points, San Maurí is a solid choice. It's a short walk from the Duomo.
San Maurí Bistrot (www.sanmauri.it
Via S. Maurilio, 4