There are countless top restaurants of the world lists and while the restaurants featured on those lists are undoubtably amazing, some of our favourites restaurants tend to be ones we have stumbled across in our travels that have a combination of the following: consistently delicious and authentic food, excellent, unpretentious service and an perfect location. Il Salumaio Montenapoleone in Milan, Italy is all of those things and more.
The restaurant has been in operation since 1957 and has been handed down from father to son for three generations. It is elegant and refined, and epitomises everything we love about Milan.
It is also perfectly located in one of the most fashionable parts of the city, within walking distance of the famous Duomo.
We first stumbled upon this restaurant on a trip to Milan a few years ago when we were staying down the road at the Hotel Manzoni. We were immediately drawn in by the stunning courtyard, uniformed waiters, linen tablecloths and Milanese class and style. Having just arrived from a train journey from Venice in the hot summer heat, a long lunch in the courtyard was most welcome.
Once a crisp glass of cool wine had been ordered, it was time to enjoy the atmosphere while we waiting for lunch – a simple tuna salad and baked crepes stuffed with zucchini. Both were excellent, however the crepes were some of the most exquisite we had ever tasted – soft layers filled with bubbling cheese sauce and fresh zucchini. It was one of those meals that is instantly memorable.
On a more recent visit it was time to try the traditional Risotto alla Milanese. With Milan being renowned for this dish, expectations where high and it didn’t disappoint, perfectly cooked golden rice, flavoured exquisitely with saffron.
Another Italian classic, the Caprese Salad, is also perfect at Il Salumaio Montenapoleone, fresh juicy tomatoes layered between buffalo mozarella served simply with olives and basil – the perfect start to any meal.
The wine list is extensive, with many, many Italian options, our tip is to let the sommelier help you choose something to accompany your meal. If you choose to drink by the glass, all of the house options are excellent.
The service at Il Salumaio Montenapoleone is just how we like it, efficient but never hurried, with the waiters anticipating your every need. You can tell that the staff have made a career in hospitality and the professionalism really shows.
So if you are looking for classic Italian food in a beautiful location, make sure you visit Il Salumaio Montenapoleone next time you are in Milan. To find out more, including opening hours, visit the restaurant’s website here.