There are restaurants and then there are Restaurants, a food sanctuary that says Home, and from that very first bite convinces you to drop everything in your life just for an opportunity to bus tables so that you can hang out in the kitchen. This is the kind of place that you keep secret for as long possible, making friends vow to never reveal any details and praying to yourself that you never mention the name in your sleep. But I think it's time I let you in on my little secret since Italian food writers have been scribbling up a storm about it - - Trippa, Milan's other Last Supper
Familiar, nostalgic and beckoning, Trippa is designed like an old school trattoria, a single and clamorous room of vintage-inspired wooden tables and chairs, with authentic vintage lamps, fans, and posters. The room is enveloped in a gorgeous mustard color that I later find out is "Milan tram yellow", as in the city's beautiful (and refurbished )1930s trams. The vibe is chatterbox hang out. Everyone knows everyone else, and are constantly playing table hopscotch, while owner and chef Diego Rossi holds the floor both conceptually and gastronomically.
I stumbled across Trippa thanks to my friend Sara*, an intrepid food and travel writer. Sara knows where to eat, so the table's always up to her which is probably why she is co-founder and bosslady ofSauce Milan, the site for Milan's food and restaurant scene. Of course, Sara was spot on. Trippa was perfect - for me and for the evening, which initially began with a viewing of the Last Supper. Next thing I know, a kerchiefed Diego is bombarding me, Sara, Laura and Darius with vegetables- crunchy white turnips (were they slightly breaded?), grilled raddichio with roe, a leek panella, fried artichoke and a trio platter where all I remember is the broccolo. And that was just the beginning. We had a fabulous fassona tartar, a valorous vitello tonnato (perhaps the very best I have ever had), and a perfect grilled polpo. It was almost as if I needed nothing more until the bone was brought out.
Marrow on the half bone. I could write sonnets to this salty masterpiece that we spread over warm bread.
Beatific. Gastro-terrific. Mind-blowing, belly showing. A half-bone beat with a salty treat. Bone marrow, I'm yours.
Life Imitates Art. That's the only thing I was thinking about it as I looked across the table at Sara (left), Diego and Laura, my culinary trinity, who brought me and Darius from enamoured to enlightened. Trippa was a masterpiece, and then I noticed that they were too. Just like Da Vinci's fresco. Nothing is a coincidence.