If it were a man, Eugenio Boer’s cuisine would seduce me. For several reasons: it is fearless, strong and intriguing. When you get to know it more you may not like it, or you may get crazy about it. For sure it will not leave you indifferent.
This is the impression I had at Essenza, restaurant that has opened at the begining of the year in via Marghera. Here is what you can eat there!
When I try a restaurant of this level, mostly for a special occasion as few nights ago, I like to experiment. Is there any better way of doing so than with a tasting menu? I tried the ‘Essenza della tradizione’ (Essence of tradition) one with five courses.
The welcome of the chef, a series Boer’s homages to his motherland and to the people of his life, sets a nice start. There is trout tartare with its eggs, Milanese risotto chip with its parmisan foam, madeleine with pesto and Taggiasche olives, fried beef stew wih sweet mustard and goat cheese macaron with paté. Not the usual amuse bouche, these are special to detail.
We continue with a ‘uovo caduto nel prato’ (an egg fallen on the meadow), that is a low temperature boiled egg with potato and truffle, parmesan cream, beetroot powder and herbs. It is one of my favourites of the whole dinner, absolutely delicious. My dining companion chooses a ‘nel blu dipinto di blu’ (blue painting), an homage to the sea and Sardinian fregola, sea bass ceviche, sea scallop, anchovy and purple cabbage water, that turns into a blue color with some magic (and boiling).
After it is the time of herring, duck, grape and ginger with duck foie gras. A taste that is too strong for me, but perfect for those who enjoy stronger flavours.
As first course we choose tortellini with Mazara red prawns served in their lemon and mint flavoured consommé. It is a very good choice, well-balanced, what I describe as high quality comfort food, if you ever try making this at home it will not turn our this well, despite the apparent semplicity.
We get pampered with a dish that is not on the menu, another first course: spaghetti with clams ‘passing by Tamakatsu’, in my opinion the best dish of the whole dinner.
Among the second dishes we choose the baccalà with potatoes, sweet garlic and coffee.
The pre-dessert is a fancy sorbetto, followed by a blackberry, pistachio, white chocolate, caramel and basil dessert: exquisiteness! I forgot: at the end you will be served mini pastries…a delicacy!
The restaurant is located in a court in via Marghera, at the end of the street that leads to the red metro stop De Angeli. It is easy to reach and parking is easy to find. The entrance from the court is nice and it is worth mentioning the very kind personnel, always ready to explain every recipe.
The atmosphere is intimate and cozy, thanks to the fact that the restaurant is not too big, it counts about 30 covers. It is incredibly possible to have a conversation without raising your voice, with good classical music in the background and high ceilings. Guests, at least the night I went there, are of different ages and generally the atmosphere is not too courteous : just as much as it take to be elegant without showing off.
Certainly Essenza is not the type of restaurant you go to when you run out of groceries. I suggest is for a special occasion, for a night when you are not tired and you are ready to fully taste chef’s cuisine. The tasting menus cost from 40 to 80 euros without wine, and for a dinner à la carte I believe you easily pass 50 euros.
Via Marghera 34, Milan
+39 02 498 6865 | email@example.com
Open every day (Mon/Fri 11:45-14:30 and 19:45-22:30) except on Saturdays for lunch and Sundays
Read the original article on Conosco un Posto. All English versions are translated by Tamara Ilic.