There are days when you really want to be pampered and spoiled. For a foodie like myself, this means treating myself to a delicious dinner at a five-star restaurant. Luckily, Milan’s fashion district seems to have quite the right spot.
La Veranda, Four Seasons Milan’s restaurant overlooking the hotel’s gardens, is known among both locals and travelers for its innovative Mediterranean cuisine. Every day of the week, celebrity Chef Sergio Mei and his team of 28 talented white hats reinterpret traditional dishes using fresh and local ingredients.
A friend of mine and I were recently invited over for a five-course vegetarian, egg-free dinner. Four of the dishes were paired with a different Italian wine.
Coincidentally, it was energy-saving evening that day, so from 6 to 9 p.m. only candles and low-energy light bulbs were lit.
While the lighting might not have been the best for taking blog post pictures, it certainly did make for a very pleasant dining atmosphere. Add to that live piano music in the background, and we really could not have asked for a lovelier atmosphere.
We could already tell from the bread basket, which was brought over to the table as soon as we arrived, that the dinner would be lavish. There were no less than seven delish-looking types of bread.
The dinner started off with an innovative caprese salad appetizer: a tomato filled with buffalo mozzarella, and puntarelle dressed with balsamic vinegar. Puntarelle are a type of chicory produced in the Italian region of Lazio during the winter months.
Suggested wine: Cuvée del Fondatore, a sparkling wine produced by Valdo in Veneto, Italy.
Then followed a carciofo alla romana, a deep fried artichoke dish that – as the name suggests – is typical of Italy’s capital city. The artichoke was topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
Suggested wine: Chardonnay Kreuth, a white wine produced by Cantina Terlan in Trentino Alto Adige, Italy.
The third course of the evening was a creamy gorgonzola risotto with balsamic vinegar. Being the gorgonzola and risotto freak I am, this dish is one of my winter favorites.
You might think we felt a little full after the third course, and we probably did. But the sight of the fourth course, an eggplant medallion with a creamy green pea sauce, made us crave more. And what a delight that was.
Suggested wine: Carignano del Sulcis, a red wine produced by Cantina di Santadi in Sardinia, Italy.
Last but definitely not least: pineapple and mango carpaccio dessert, served with a scoop of the most divine pistachio ice cream ever. The dessert was beautifully decorated and, yes, the ice cream was egg-free, too!
Suggested wine: PalmArgentina, a rosé wine produced by Costaripa on the lakeshore of Lago di Garda, Italy.
We thank the Four Seasons Milan for their lovely dinner invitation. It is great to see how fabulously gourmet vegetarian dishes can be! We will be back.
Address: Via Gesù 6-8, 20121 Milan, Italy