Ratanà restaurant where the classic meets the contemporary

Ratanà restaurant Milan Isola
Ratanà is inside a converted 19th-century train station building in Milan's Isola

It’s impossible to have a bad meal at Ratanà restaurant in Milan. The first time I visited Milan in January 2012, Paolo Marchi of Identita Golose advised me to go here for the best risotto alla Milanese in town. I did make it there my first time, but I opted for a special of carrot thyme risotto. Something told me I’d be back to Ratanà restaurant soon; risotto alla milanese would always be there, but carrot thyme risotto would not. I fell in love with this restaurant at first bite.

I have since come to know it incredibly well and have had the opportunity to taste many seasonal specialties. It’s located in Isola, a former working class neighborhood, inside a buiding that was once a 19th century train station. It’s sharp and refurbished, and boasts vast green land that was once a farm and is now being converted into tktktkt.

Chef Cesare Battisti is a born-and-bred Milanese and here, he serves the classic flavors of Milan and its Lombardia surroundings with a refined twist. Also, since Milan is landlocked, seafood isn’t a staple of hte city’s cuisine but fresh water fish from the nearby lakes are. You’ll find an amazing selection of fish here.

The menu is always changing but on any given day-in addition to the aforementioned glorious risotto alla Milanese, you’ll find mondeghili (fried Milanese meatballs made with the bits left over from beef broth), ossobuco (served with the risotto), nervetti salad (made with veal knee and shin cartelige), vitello tonnato among a few other local classics. The fish and trips with fario trout are also great..they come with a saffrton flavored tarter sauce. You’re going to want everything buty you can’t. If it’s your first time, you must try a risotto, albeit the Milanese or a special.

If you go in for lunch on a weekday, there’s a special business lunch menu they advertise on facebook that changes daily and is just 19 euro a person.  The mostly Italian wine list has amazing biodynamic producers, including one of my favorites: Zidarich. The vitovska, malvasia and prulke; the latter is offered by the glass.

Ratanà restaurant in Isola
Via Gaetano de Castillia 28
+39 02 8712 8855
Open daily: 12.30pm – 2.30pm; 7.30pm – 11.30pm
Aperitivo with rubitt (small bites prepares on the spots) daily: 6.30pm – 8.30pm
You can reserve online through their site or with MiSiedo

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