Il Milanese Ristorante - Chicago
Most of us are familiar with the pizza of Naples and the Bolognese sauce from Bologna, but the food of Milan has yet to make its presence felt in Chicago; Il Milanese Ristorante is going to change all that. Building upon the culinary traditions of Milan, one of Italy's northernmost cities, Il Milanese ventures into the cuisines of that city but also other less known Italian regions.
From Milan, there are dishes like Milanese & Luganega, which is Caranoli saffron rice and a ragu of Luganega sausage; Tortelloni filled with roasted pumpkin, amaretto cookies, fruit mustard, brown butter, Parmigiano, and a sage sauce; and Chicche Pavesi, a spinach gnocchi in Gorgonzola cheese sauce. Those are just some of the Milanese favorites you can expect to find at Il Milanese Ristorante, but there are several other regions represented on the menu.
From San Marino there's Robespierre Tagliata, twelve ounces of beautiful New York strip steak, with rosemary olive oil and arugula.
From Sardinia, there's focaccia dressed with tomato, oregano, garlic black olives, onions, and anchovies.
From Rome, osso buco, perhaps one of the most famous dishes to come from the Eternal City.
“All these celebrity chefs,” co-owner and chef Carlo Maggi told Block Club Chicago “they try to do fusion tasting here and there and combining things, which is good. Don’t get me wrong, I like experimenting, but I want to give new life [to classic] dishes.”
The wine selection is broad and reasonably priced, with many reds and whites available the glass. You don't have to break the bank to get a good bottle of wine at Il Milanese Ristorante -- there's a bottle of the popular Soave for around $40 -- but if you're celebrating or just want to enjoy an incredible wine, there's a Super Tuscan, Serre Nuove Ornellaia '20 for $125. The vast majority of wines, however, are under $70 for a bottle. There is also a cocktail menu with many classics -- including negronis, martinis and Old Fashions -- as well as a few original creations.