This lovely osteria is wildly popular with nattily dressed Milanese office workers and unsuspecting tourists--I'm not one of the latter because I sought this place out. It is a true osteria, not a ristorante filching the osteria moniker for restaurant marketing purposes. Slow Food Italy endorses locales that are traditional and serve typical products of the region. Osteria del Treno isn't slavishly devoted to Milanese cuisine: I saw no mondeghili (breaded meatballs), casseoula (sausage, cabbage and bean stew) nor Milan's most famous dish, Risotto alla Milanese. Yet Osteria del Treno is given a good review in the Slow Food guide and has the telltale Slow Food snail sticker on the front door. It's a daily changing menu, with antipasti, three pasta choices, secondi or meat course, and an amazing cheese plate. I ordered the cheese plate as my second course and it featured aged gorgonzola, a gorgonzola made from goat's milk which blew my mind and had a creamier mouthfeel than the aged gorgonzola, a small nib of goat cheese marinated in EVOO and juniper berries, served in a small ramekin--essence of the forest more than the pasture due to the juniper. Then a rich and rindless Toma from Piemonte and a goat's milk cheese called Pan di Pane.
The pasta could have been better, the gnocchetti were overcooked but the sauce was lovely: mild sausage crumbles, chard, fresh herbs and cherry tomatoes, which created its own soupy broth. The pasta seems to be pre-made in large batches and not to order. At Osteria del Treno, you order directly to the chef through the kitchen pass and she scoops out the pasta into a bowl, and you, the customer/waiter, carry it to your table perplexed about why you came to a restaurant to be an unpaid worker. That was my initial reaction being a newbie here, the Slow Food guide never mentioned slavery. Anyway, being a photographer, I got a little snap happy with the menu and the food as you see above, which ran afoul of the proprietor's unwritten rule, called Ask Me First. I got an irritated earful from him, and then some, and then oddly, an apology for his reaction. It's all part of the experience I suppose
Osteria del Treno
Via San Gregorio 46, Milan
About a 10 minute walk from Milan's Stazione Centrale