Milan: Pastarito Pizzarito

by gigi on February 17, 2009

After our thoroughly enjoyable stay in the Lake Como region, Jenkins and I boarded the train and headed for Milan. Milan was a relatively short hour or so train ride away and we only planned to stay for two days and one night while en route to Cinque Terre.

Our morning in Milan was mostly spent around the Duomo area. We snapped a few pictures of the Duomo and explored around the square before realizing it was time for lunch.

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We decided to go to Pastarito Pizzarito, which is a popular pasta and pizza chain a couple of blocks away from the Duomo square. The restaurant was quite large so even though it was packed with people, we did not have to wait for a seat. It seemed to be quite popular with the working crowd and even though there were tourists at the restaurant, there were also quite a few locals.

As usual, we started with some fizzy water:

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Jenkins and I looked around us and saw that the portion sizes were quite large. We were quite hungry after all the travelling and wandering we had done so far that day. We decided we were entitled to stuff our faces a bit. :)

Obviously, the specialties at Pastarito Pizzarito were the pastas and pizzas but we noticed that more people were eating pasta rather than pizza. Since we had eaten a fair share of pizza while in Lake Como, we decided to choose two pastas to share. The menu at Pastarito is such that you get to choose the type of pasta and the type of sauce and the pricing depends on the combination you choose.

Our first pick was the spaghetti carbonara. I find the North American variety of this dish way too creamy and fatty but figured this would be the best time to try an authentic Italian version. This was hands down, the best spaghetti carbonara I have ever tasted. The eggs were not too overpowering, the sauce was not creamy, and the panchetta was thickly cut and had a slight crunch. Even though I was full at the end of the meal, I could not resist picking at this pasta until the whole dish was finished. :) The spaghetti itself was perfectly al dente and the dry and garlicky egg sauce was just enough to coat the pasta slightly but did not leave a puddle of sauce after I finished my dish.

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Jenkins’ choice was more conventional tomato with basil sauce with spaghetti. Even though it was a non-cream-based sauce, the tomatoes did not have too much acidity and the whole dish had a “freshly-made” taste to it. There were also small pieces of panchetta in this dish too but I felt that the flavour of the tomatoes overpowered it somewhat.

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Of the two pastas, you can probably guess that the carbonara was my favourite. :) It was just so well-made that I probably could have eaten the entire dish myself and just left the tomato pasta to Jenkins even though the tomato pasta was still quite tasty. :) Just looking at these pictures while writing this post is making my mouth start to water! We enjoyed Pastarito so much that we tried to go again the day before we left but unfortunately, they do not open for dinner until 7:30 and we had to be at the train station to go to Cinque Terre at 7PM.

Details:
Via Verdi 6, Milano, Italy (1 block from La Scala opera house)

Summary:
Food: [rating: 4.5]
Service: [rating:3]
Price: $$

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