Remember I told you about Milan, the new and swanky Italian/Mediterranean Little Italy restaurant? Well they generously invited me to taste their culinary delights, and I happily obliged.
Milan is just gorgeous inside, just so so beautiful! The chandeliers, the white + red decor, the candlelight, even the bathroom sink! In fact, I see Milan as a wonderful place for a nice date, a special anniversary, a client dinner, a restaurant for out-of-town guests, and if you see their upstairs, you may even consider it for your Rehearsal Dinner it's so lovely!!!! Not to mention it's located conveniently next to a garage where you can pay $3 for parking on the weekdays after 4pm!
While I perused the extensive menu, I ordered a Mango Mojito ($11) to start, as I was told it was a popular drink at the restaurant. I can see why. Made with Ten Cane Rum, fresh mint, lime, mango, simple syrup, mango puree and club soda, it was refreshing and surprisingly light, though not strong. This, however, would be the perfect drink for the summertime when Milan opens up their outside patio (right now it's enclosed with a ton of heat lamps).
Meanwhile, my mum ordered a glass of the Mionetto Prosecco Brut ($10). I love prosecco (Italian sparkling wine) and usually buy a bottle of this instead of Champagne if I'm in the mood for some bubbles, and this particular kind was quite lovely.
They then presented us with their bread basket which comes with some tapenade instead of the usual olive oil (though they did ask whether we wanted that instead, which is smart since not everybody likes olives). My mum and I love tapenade, so we thought it was a great accompaniment.
Aragosta E Gamberetti Rotolo (Spring Roll with Lobster and Shrimp)
Since the sushi chefs are currently revamping their sushi menu, I wanted to choose an item that was going to definitely stay. My server, Stephen (who was a gem!), recommended the Aragosta E Gamberetti Rotolo ($16), explaining that it was more like a Spring Roll than sushi. This roll, made with rice paper, came with lobster, shrimp, mixed greens, crunchy vegetables, and scallions with a spicy remoulade sauce and sriracha decorating the plate. The sauce definitely has quite a kick to it, which complemented the crisply fresh taste of the roll's ingredients.
Agnello (Lamb Lollipops)
We also chose the Agnello ($13) or grilled lamp "lollipops" off their small plates section. These lamp chops were some of the best I've ever had, and I loved the dollop of lemon rosemary aioli. We ordered them medium, and they were cooked to perfection. I couldn't have been happier with this plate, and would highly recommend it if you like lamb. I would order this again in a heartbeat.
I had also ordered the Aragosta Pasta E Caci ($12) or Lobster Mac and Cheese, but my server actually forgot about that, and so did I until we left! Sadly I was looking forward to that - the pasta with smoked gouda bechemel, white truffle essence and a citrus pistachio gremolata. Doesn't that sound fabulous? I am really sad we missed this, though my stomach probably thanks me for it. Of course this wasn't a big deal to me since I was not paying for the meal - but had this happened to me another time I wouldn't have been so forgiving.
Spigola del Cile (Chilean Sea Bass)
For my entree, I eagerly ordered the Spigola del Cile ($28), their Chilean Sea Bass served with roasted fingerling potatoes, sauteed spinach and a watercress cream. Chilean Sea Bass, a buttery white fish, is such a special occasion fish, especially at the price it is, so it was nice to be served a large portion of it. And then to accompany it with perfectly cooked potatoes and a wonderful sauce? Oh, it was almost too much!!! I LOVED this dish and would absolutely want to get it again, or at least make sure someone else at the table ordered it so I could share *cough Dan cough*
Linguine Peppa (Peppered Linguine with Shrimp and Lobster)
My mum ordered the Linguine Peppa ($26) for her entree, which was also Stephen's recommendation. It came with shrimp, lobster, spinach, and leeks in a brandied cream sauce. This meal was a decadent entree, with lumps of lobster and large shrimp. The creamy sauce was rich and slightly sweet, and the homemade linguine was delicious. In fact, it was nice to hear that they make their pasta everyday on-site at 1pm! Yay for freshly made pasta!
Torta Di Fromaggio (Ricotta Cheesecake)
At this point in the meal, my mum and I were definitely not hungry, but we noticed we weren't grossly full. I think this is a testament to the quality of the food. We ate a lot, but it didn't sit heavily in our stomachs. We felt good! In fact, we felt good enough to share two desserts:)
We ordered the Grand Marnier Creme Brulee (not pictured, $8) and the Torta di Formaggio ($8). Under the crispy burnt sugar, the creme brulee's custard was silky smooth and had a wonderfully pleasing taste, though I did not taste the Grand Marnier. I definitely wasn't disappointed, but surprised there was more of a vanilla than orange taste.
The ricotta cheesecake came with a balsamic strawberry compote and candied rosemary, though that was just for show. The cheesecake was superb! Cheesecakes are usually not my favorite kind of dessert - they are too thick and too sweet for my taste, but the ricotta really lightens this dessert. The crust is delicious too, and I loved the balsamic strawberries with everything. Both of these were EXCELLENT, and I'm not sure whether I could pick a favorite. I'm so glad my mum likes to share!
All in all, this was a GREAT meal and I was really impressed with the food and with the restaurant itself. My mum also really loved it, especially the initimate lounge-y ambience. Milan is definitely unique to Baltimore, and I think that's a smart move as a new restaurant in this economy. That being said, I'm not going to pretend that it isn't expensive, because it is. However, if you can restrain yourself, it doesn't have to be just a special occasion spot! You could always get some sushi and dessert for a nice meal (in fact, there is a seating area specifically for those interested in sushi) or order small plates and their flatbread. Or you could just treat yourself to an amazing entree (CHILEAN SEA BASS!) and sip only on water! Whatever you end up choosing, I think you will be happy!
So, have you gone to Milan, the restaurant? Looking forward to go? Let me know in the comments!
DISCLAIMER: Though this was a free tasting, I was not asked to write a positive review nor did I feel any inclination to write anything which did not reflect my true opinion of Milan.