Boccondivino – a play on words meaning ‘divine mouthful’ or ‘mouthful of wine’ – is something of an understatement for most Italian restaurants in Milan. And here, it’s more like eight courses’ worth of fine dining. There’s no menu and no choice – leave picky eaters behind, loosen your belt and enjoy a degustazione of traditional Italian food.
rnThe running order, unchanged since the restaurant opened in 1976, starts with prosecco and aperitivo, followed by crudités, two salami courses (don’t shrink away from the lardo: just one mouthful is actually divine), the requisite carbohydrate course, and two rounds of seasonal cheeses, rounded off with biscotti and sorbet. Each is matched with an appropriate wine from a cellar with more than 900 Italian labels, and by the end of the meal you’ll be surrounded by enough glasses to play an entire octave of glass-notes.
rnService is entertaining and educational (and multi-lingual). The setting is like a glorified college hall, with vaulted brick ceilings, whitewashed walls and long dining tables spread over three rooms, and chances are you’ll acquire some new dining companions on the communal tables.