Te gh’ee l’oeucc pussee grand del boeucc
– Milanese dialect “Your eyes are bigger than your mouth”
For me, my boeucc and oeucc are a complimentary tag team in my spying out must-try restaurants. This time, they took me to Boeucc, a tony and historic spot in Milan’s Piazza Belgioso, the well-heeled neoclassical square near La Scala and the Galleria. Boeucc ranks high in Italy for its history and tradition- the restaurant is over three hundred years old, it is both a historically registered building as well as business- it has a beautiful neoclassical dining room with high ceilings, Murano glass chandeliers, hardwood floors and marble columns and Boeucc is known for its strict adhesion to Milanese dishes.
Up until a few weeks, I was not at all interested in stopping by because Boeucc seemed, well, predictable and maybe even a recipe for disappointment with its Duomo-adjacent address that suggested a price tag that might overshadow the meal- catering to finance’s finest and trend-hungry tourists. But since, I couldn’t resist taking a peek at the menu, and I’m glad I did or I would never have known about the bistrot, which from this day forward, I call the Best Of Boeucc.
I’m right. The bistrot is the best. Essentially, it’s like dipping your toe in Boeucc’sthree-hundred year old history and tasting a few of its signature dishes, without worrying about the wallet or any stuffy attitude. The bistrot menu is pared down from Boeucc’s more serious dining tome, in other words, a basic culinary idea, though my advice is to order by looking (and smelling) what the other guests are having. I did just that: tortellini di carne with panna and prosciutto, and then a costellotta di vitello alla milanese, the typical breaded fried cutlet. Did I mention Darius was with me? He chose a tuna tartare, followed by octopus in a red sauce with peas, but thought the pasta was the best.
Style wise, the Bistrot’s dining room decor is same refined style as the main dining room- with its columns, chandeliers and charming waiters in ecru jackets, but the vibe is far more laid back– more chatter and a eclectic collection of modern and contemporary art sketches, posters, vintage photos covering sections of the walls. Yes, there were several business lunches going on, lots of fitted black and navy blue suits, but overall, it was light hearted and luminous, kind of like theperfect spot to start a very casual affair.
My take away: Boeucc Bistrot is fun, affordable and flirty, with just a touch of gravitas to remind us we were in Milan.