Ristorante Cracco, Milan, 9/8/16

Exterior
Exterior

Cracco is a small 2 star Michelin place that offers a quiet and elegant dining experience. The main dining room has about 8 tables and there are also a several tables on an upstairs level that opens on to the main dining room and another squeezed into a small nook.  Service is very friendly and attentive but while the lighting in the room makes picture taking easier I might have preferred a slightly dimmer room.  They offer a tasting menu as well as a la carte options and the night we were there was truffle season so they also had a menu of truffle courses that could be added to a tasting or your a la carte order. Be forewarned ladies, your menu will not have prices, a real throw back on gentility.

art on the staircase to go to dining room
art on the staircase to go to dining room, but guests have an elevator
table set up
table set up
embroidered piece on charger
embroidered piece on charger
interior
interior
lighting
lighting
Frankie liked the table flowers
Frankie liked the table flowers
menu cover
menu cover
menu
menu
tasting menu
tasting menu
white truffle menu
white truffle menu
truffle supplements menu
truffle supplements menu

 

We ordered the tasting menu as well as adding one order of  truffle pasta to split. While pondering your choices and the wine list you are served  multiple options for snacking.  There are fried rice, corn and banana crisps and leafy tempura, a box of dried crispy vegetables (in a box suitable to take with you), breads (olive oil and ciabatta rolls) and breadsticks.  Then they bring a tray of small bites which looked pretty but I didn’t get down the content of any of them.

box for vegetable snack
box for vegetable snack
dried vegetables
dried vegetables
fried snacks
fried snacks
bread selection
bread selection
bread sticks
bread sticks
img_5881
there was room for Frankie on the purse stool as well as for treats to take home
snacks
snacks
starting sparkler
starting sparkler

 

The 12 course tasting starts with a signature dish of Caramelized Russian salad.  It has a gooey, mayo like inside and a crispy, sweet exterior. It is hand food and outstanding!  It packs flavor and texture into each bite. Double Yum!

Caramelised Russian salad
Caramelised Russian salad
from the top
from the top

 

The creme brulee and bonito follow.  The bonito is served on a wilted lettuce and the brulee had something to give it a hint of spiciness. It was mild but mixed really well with the strong tasting fish.  It worked really well as a combination.

Olive oil creme brulee with coffee, quinoa and bonito
Olive oil creme brulee with coffee, quinoa and bonito
Frankie  checked out the breadsticks
Frankie checked out the breadsticks

 

The bread and tomato was made with the pulp of the tomato mixed with basil.  It had a good tomato taste with a nice accent of olive oil and basil flavors. Served on a crispy piece of bread it was hand food. Very good.

Bread and tomato
Bread and tomato
another angle
another angle

 

The raw meat was beef served with caper flowers and codfish cream. The lean beef had great beef taste and was super tender. It was an interesting and winning mix of tastes and textures even though it was not the most attractive.

Raw "Vicciola" meat, dried cod sauce, celery and capers
Raw “Vicciola” meat, dried cod sauce, celery and capers
another angle
another angle

 

The prawns were accented with dots of Worcestershire and parmesan crisps, which unfortunately had lost their crisp. The shrimp are served raw but a slight heating might have better brought out their taste. The various dots all offered different flavors to mix in which was fun but overall this one wasn’t as good as the previous 2.

Santa Margherita prawns, Parmigiano Reggiano, arugula and balsamic vinegar
Santa Margherita prawns, Parmigiano Reggiano, arugula and balsamic vinegar
another angle
another angle
Chef Carlos Cracco and Frankie
Chef Carlo Cracco and Frankie

 

The grilled baccala was served with wild asparagus as part of the broth. There was a crispy piece of buckwheat that had a really nice grilled taste in the bowl with the fish. It was a mildly flavored light dish that was pretty interesting.

Grilled baccala, buckwheat and wild asparagus
Grilled baccala, buckwheat and wild asparagus
as plated
as plated

 

The smoked egg was served with zucchini strips and cream. I couldn’t taste the smoke on the egg but it was perfectly cooked. The zucchini strips added a textural contrast and the cream was very tasty.  In parts or mixed together it was a real winner and not surprisingly has been on the menu since the restaurant opened.

Smoked egg with lavender, saffron and zucchini
Smoked egg with lavender, saffron and zucchini
as plated
as plated
inside
inside

 

Our truffle pasta was next and talk about buttery and creamy – it was great!  The truffle taste was mild as they had been grated in the kitchen instead of at the table.  It was a perfect amount to split to give each of us a nice portion of this classic dish that was well worth the extra money.

Fresh egg tagliolini with White Truffle
Fresh egg tagliolini with White Truffle
Frankie wanted to show it plated
Frankie wanted to show it plated

 

The risotto was topped with a white chocolate circle that was quite sweet. Bergamot adds a sweet, citrusy taste. The sweet part was great to mix with the seaweed taste of the perfectly cooked risotto. A good course.

Risotto, sea essence, white chocolate and bergamot
Risotto, sea essence, white chocolate and bergamot
as plated
as plated

 

The Guinea fowl was served with lemon, green asparagus, baby carrots and carrot cream. Guinea is dry meat but a nice fat cap was wrapped onto the white portion to make the dryness disappear. The carrot cream was quite tasty but the barely cooked other vegetables didn’t really add to the dish other than appearance.  A nice, tasty course.

Guinea fowl with lemon, asparagus and carrots
Guinea fowl with lemon, asparagus and carrots
as plated
as plated
Frankie thought that this pot was a good color for her
Frankie thought that this pot was a good color for her
wine storage
wine storage

 

The bone marrow was served with green peas, yogurt and licorice – which added a sweetness. The yogurt was served in small crisp pieces. The bone marrow had excellent richness without the usual greasiness. This was terrific! Great tastes and textures!

Bone marrow on the griddle, peas, licorice and yogurt
Bone marrow on the griddle, peas, licorice and yogurt
as plated
as plated

 

For pre-dessert there was almond sorbet with pineapple chunks and toasted olives along with a sprig of dill. It was an interesting mix of flavors and I liked this one a lot!

Almonds sorbet, pineapple and green olives
Almonds sorbet, pineapple and green olives
as plated
as plated
If there's an orchid Frankie will find it1
If there’s an orchid Frankie will find it1

 

The first dessert was yogurt ice cream with wild cherry, spices and chocolate custard and crumbles. The bowl was coated with cherry juice and one solid cherry. This was REALLY GOOD!

Dark chocolate, red cherries, wild cherries and spices
Dark chocolate, red cherries, wild cherries and spices
as plated
as plated
even closer
even closer
Pear bandy label
Pear bandy label to drink with desserts

 

The last dessert was accompanied by numerous other treats, just as the meal had begun. The custardy dish was Medlar fruit, with amaretto and coriander with a touch of pepper.  It didn’t stand out in the array of treats to chose from.  There were sugar coated almonds, chocolate coated hazelnuts, dried crispy fuits and a tray with passionfruit macaroons, peach jelly (really good), kumquat tarts, apple bar (which was fairly gooey) and a hazelnut truffle. We washed all this down with some wonderful pear brandy which the chef sent more of after our kitchen tour. What a nice ending for a lovely, fun meal.

Medlar fruit, amaretto and coriander
Medlar fruit, amaretto and coriander
inside
inside
desserts
desserts
Frankie inspected the chocolate coated hazelnuts
Frankie inspected the chocolate coated hazelnuts
sugar coated almonds
sugar coated almonds
dried fruts
dried fruts
img_5835
Passion fruit macaroons, peach jelly, pastry tart with kumquats, apple bar and amaretto ball with coriander
kitchen
kitchen
kitchen
kitchen
Chef Cracco and Head Chef Luca Saccihi with Frankie
Chef Cracco and Head Chef Luca Saccihi with Frankie
Tag from the brandy we had
Tag from the brandy we had, sent out by the chef

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