A haute cuisine sampler menu at €32 - it is possible! Davide Oldani has created one for his restaurant, the D’O, which opened in 2003 in San Pietro all’Olmo, a hamlet in the Cornaredo district, a few kilometres from Milan’s western ring road.
The people of Milan discovered it with a touch of incredulity, but soon everyone was going crazy about it. The D’O has become a safe bet in Lombard dining, so much so that you have to reserve now to dine there in early June! You will have more luck if you want to lunch there, but even so make sure to book at least a few weeks in advance.
Davide Oldani grew up in Cornaredo. So this, for him, is a return to his roots. “First and foremost it’s a chance to get closer to my parents, the most important people in my life, whom I’ve seldom seen in 15 years”.
A student of Gualtiero Marchesi, then of Alain Ducasse, Pierre Hermé and Albert Roux, the young Oldani travelled between Paris, London and Monte Carlo. When the opportunity arose to purchase an old trattoria in his village, he didn’t hesitate for one moment.
The price of the dishes varies between €10 and €15, but they are works of art! An art developed using a modest palette: no lobster, truffles or caviar but a lot of vegetables, rice (a requirement of Paduan “religion”), pasta, eggs, and a few meats, without turning his back on the less “noble” cuts. The bottom of the menu reads: “The seasons and markets guide the choice of our products”.
But on the plate, it is all Oldani. The caramelised onion with hot and cold parmesan is a real delicacy. Sweet and savoury, hot and cold: this is the synthesis of the “balanced contrast” concept so dear to Oldani. Even simpler, but just as captivating, is the very light risotto with Jerusalem artichokes and vanilla. You will also discover a reinterpretation of casseula (a sort of Lombard sauerkraut).
The D’O is the whole of Italy, Oldani style – nourishing and easily digestible. It’s easy to meet this great chef, assisted by Hide Matsumoto – he likes to come to the tables.
The only disappointment is the rather conventional wine list.
Via Magenta, 18
20010 San Pietro all’Olmo
Tel and Fax: 00 39 02 9362209
Closed Sunday and Monday.
Menu at €32, lunch menu at €11.50.
The D’O does not accept cheques or bank cards.