When you’re in Milan, forget about pizza and pasta. Sure, both are available and can be downright heavenly. But regional distinctions shape culinary traditions, as they do many other aspects of Italian culture, and in Lombardy the fare is heartier than down south, with more meat and rice dishes on offer. The best contemporary takes on traditional Milanese cuisine can be found at Ratanà, a restaurant in Isola owned by the imaginative chef Cesare Battisti. His version of the Milan classic risotto alla Milanese con ossobuco (saffron risotto with braised veal shank) is silky smooth and vivid in both color and flavor. Battisti’s decision to use Lodigiano cheese, which is sweeter than Parmesean, gives the traditionally creamy dish an even richer taste.
Time Out tip: To help you digest what will likely be a heavy meal, take a walk through nearby Porta Nuova and marvel at the architectural wonders.