Ristorante Savini (Milan): where mindblowing salata brings la dolce vita

Photo credit: Savini
One of the oldest and most popular restaurants in Milan’s Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is the very elegant Savini. 
Photo credit: Savini
Through the years, this lush cafe/restaurant has been patronised by the likes of Maria Callas, Grace Kelly, Ernest Hemingway and Charlie Chaplin. The restaurant serves traditional Milanese and Italian fare, as well as an array of Italian desserts and patisserie. 
Photo credit: Savini
The first floor hosts the cafe while a lift takes you to the restaurant where you can have a more formal affair. There’s also a room that’s reserved for wedding proposals (the very same room where Maria Callas would covertly meet shipping magnate Ari Onassis) and a boutique in the basement where they sell their own produce such as oils, vinegars, chutneys, etc. 
Dining in front of the restaurant means you can people-watch while you sip their house prosecco (I totally recommend this). The only downside is that it really isn’t a smoke-free building so some punters who smoke by might put you off your meal. 
The hardbound seasonal menu impressively resembles a coffee table book with 72 pages of literature and photos. If this is not a testament to Italian attention to style and flair, then I don’t know what is. Mygosh, I wanted to take it home!
The maitre’d recommended their local prosecco which I can’t, for the life of me, remember the name of. It was crisp and refreshing albeit a little sharp. Then, we were given four types of complimentary bread baked in-house and served with the restaurant’s own brand of olive oil (YUM).

I’m not particularly keen on bread when it’s not warm but the flavours of each bread were distinct from the other. The olive bread is a clear winner.

You can’t go to Italy and NOT have pasta, right? We went traditional and ordered the tagliatelle alla bolognese with veal ragout (€24). This was seriously al dente and the sauce was so simple, so rich in flavour yet so light in the belly. It’s exactly the type of pasta you can have all year through. This was comfort in a bowl.
Posso avere parmigiano per favore?

The veal ossobuco (€41) is served with either mashed potatoes or Milanese style risotto (risotto with saffron). The veal itself was cooked incredibly well, it was tenderised to a tee with a generous portion of marrow that’s definitely not for the fainthearted. The risotto was ace.

The highlight of this lunch though is actually a very simple salad. Savini’s nizzarda salata (€22) has got to be one of my favourite salads in the world. Sans dressing, this should bear the slogan of fresh produce rocking up greatness. I mean look, it’s essentially simple: romaine lettuce, beans, tomatoes, peppers, taggiasca olives, a bit of tuna, capers, anchovies and croutons.

I only added a dash of olive oil to jazz it up a bit but MYGOODNESSME. It was so fresh that I can, as of writing, still taste the freshness of those beans and tomatoes in my mouth. It screamed Summer in its simplicity, yet I was seriously MINDBLOWN.
We finished our meals and agreed that it was a really good lunch to kick-off our trip. Our orders came up to just over £120GBP which was very reasonable for the quality of food and service we had. I’d recommend Savini for lunch, or perhaps for a quick afternoon pick-me-up dessert and coffee. It’s a great afternoon pitstop spot before you resume your shopping/sightseeing. 
Via Ugo Foscolo, 5, Milano, Italy
Average spend pp: £60

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  1. 7th September 2015 / 10:25 am

    Ooh I've often been to that gallery in Milan but never to Savini - looks great and my hubby is a big fan of osso bucco

    Suze | LuxuryColumnist

    • 7th September 2015 / 11:51 am

      I love, love, love the Galleria - it's so pretty there and the dishes are great, too! I hope you get to visit soon!

  2. 9th September 2015 / 4:58 am

    Looks like fantastic food! I love Italy!


    • 9th September 2015 / 1:02 pm

      Hi Caroline! The food was fresh and delicious! =)

  3. 13th September 2015 / 7:10 pm

    Oh good lord that ossobuco with saffron risotto is to die for. SLAVERING Honey, SLAVERING. Would love to visit Savini's - it's got such a glamorous location! xx

    Tamsin / A Certain Adventure

    • 15th September 2015 / 8:44 am

      Dude, but your own Italian adventure spelt a lot of delicious food too! Haha x

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