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Cracco, Milan

4 Via Victor Hugo
Italy 20123
Tel: 39 02 876 774
view web site ›'s insider take:

This innovative Italian restaurant has put central Milan back on the foodie map of Italy with its unrepentantly contemporary Italian food. Chef Carlo Cracco added a second Michelin star to his tally in 2004 and long ago shook off the "trained under Alain Ducasse" qualifiers to emerge as a major player in his own right. Still, not all Cracco's gambles come off: The spaghetti with sea urchins and coffee tastes as strange as it sounds. However, the secondo of steamed spigola (sea bass) is a tribute to simplicity, despite the oddness of the accompanying purple Peruvian potatoes. There is really no need to order more than two dishes, as there is a regular stream of amuse-bouches. For those determined to spend, there are two tasting menus at about $170 and $210. The ambience of the basement dining room is austere modernism: all marble facing and somber grays and browns. Service can be a little uncertain and occasionally surly, with a gulf between the assurance of the able maître d' and his young apprentices. But overall, Cracco is worth trying at least once if you want to touch the city's culinary peaks.—Updated by Lee Marshall

Open Mondays and Saturdays 7:30 to 11:30 pm, Tuesdays through Fridays 12:30 to 2:30 pm and 7:30 to 11:30 pm.

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