At the end of a rather ambitious itinerary for the Italy trip, my girlfriend and I ended up back in Milan where we started. We had one night before boarding a flight back to New York the next morning, but weren’t really in the best shape to use that extra day productively. Not only were we exhausted by then from making multiple stops around the country, but we already did see most of the attractions in Milan on the first day of the trip, so we spent our last day in Italy just strolling around the Duomo and checking out the famed Montenapoleone shopping district (although there wasn’t much to distinguish this expensive piece of land from the Fifth Avenue or SoHo in Manhattan). We were just about to call it a night after a quick dinner nearby the area, and found this pretty restaurant located inside a beautiful palazzo and courtyard inside. Unfortunately, the food was a bit underwhelming when compared to the charm of the dining space.
The rather extensive menu at Il Salumaio seems to be focusing on the classic, mostly Milanese dishes. As you can see in my previous reviews of restaurants in Italy, I’m always a fan of straightforward, soulful Italian cooking that remains faithful to the rich culinary tradition of this wonderful country, if and only if such cooking focuses on consistency of execution. The level of execution in general at Il Salumaio had something to be desired. I’ve had fantastic caprese salads throughout restaurants in Italy during this trip, but the one here was the weakest, as I found the ingredients not in the freshest shape like I was getting used to. By the end of Italy trip, we haven’t yet tried a ravioli dish, so went ahead and ordered the one with meat ragu here. It was by no means a bad dish, but I felt that the ravioli wasn’t as special as the other insanely good pasta dishes I’ve tried elsewhere. There was something missing that I couldn’t quite pinpoint; maybe it was the temperature of the dish that somewhat felt lukewarm? Spaghetti that came with garlic, oil, chili pepper and sea urchin was the more successful of the two pasta dishes, and I enjoyed the spicy kick from the pepper; I just wished the dish came out with slightly less oil and the presence of sea urchin wasn’t as prominent as I had hoped. We did really like the tiramisu that came at the end; it wasn’t as magical as the one I had in Florence, but the overall delightful sweetness was there.
We sat inside the dining room which has the décor that makes you feel like you’re dining inside a museum. For a date night, visiting this dining space would be one fine idea. There is also a large wine selection from different Italian regions, so get some recommendations depending on your preference of flavor. Our last meal in Italy turned out to be less than ideal, as I felt Il Salumaio didn’t have the soulfulness and consistency in execution I was looking for; perhaps it may be a more viable option for a quick lunch if you’re shopping around Montenapoleone. Anyways, I think my girlfriend and I can skip Italian food for the next month or so despite the proliferation of Italian restaurants in New York. It has been one amazing journey where I felt like I got a good grasp of the soul and tradition of Italian cooking.
- Creativity: 7.5/10
- Execution: 7.0/10
- Ingredients: 7.0/10
- Flavor: 7.5/10
- Texture: 7.0/10
Address: Via San Spirito, 10, 20121, Milano, Italia